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In Pieces (RxD oneshots)

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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 and convince her to join Ahriman. We’ll see how that works out for him. 


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. And that was both exciting and terrifying.

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, a little 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."

"Why not?"

"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—

He shuddered.

"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 drew his eyebrows together, 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 under the stars. 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." And he was very glad, which was very strange, and he hesitated a little and then added, "It is a pleasure to cook for you."

She smiled, a real smile, and it was infinitely more becoming than the blush.

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Sooo I edited the first post to add a chapter that is set before the original first one. Hopefully I don't confuse anyone too much...


@Blackprincess: Thank you!! It's nice to know that at least people can enjoy the version of Dameon I see, if they can't like their own versions, hehe. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it!

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@Rodania Thank you!! I should update this one again also xD So here we go


A Hairy Problem

This short happens after Te'ijal has been retrieved, and after Rhen and co. have made their way to the Western Isle to retrieve the next druid, Armaiti of Agriculture.


Lars had been complaining persistently about the quality of ground on the Western Isle, and, upon seeing the sign pointing towards Brumwich, had demanded that they stay at the inn there at least for one night. Elini had eagerly agreed, wishing to take a real, proper bath and to have a mirror in order to arrange her hair. Rhen wanted to hike to Clearwater, but she had to admit to herself that the demon summoner did have such lovely, flowing hair, and she couldn't help wanting to see it done up nicely.

But on the way to Brumwich, they had been attacked by cursed stones—stones, of all things!—and one of them had managed to smash Rhen's arm. Dameon had immediately begun healing it, leaving the other three to finish the battle, but the curse left her arm weak and he had insisted she keep it in a sling for at least a few days.

She didn't want to wear a stupid sling. She couldn't carry her shield while she wore it. She had to eat one-handed. She had to let someone else count out the money at the inn. And in the morning, she couldn't even brush her blasted hair, or put it up into anything even resembling a braid. She tried to pull the sling off, but a jolt of pain prevented her.

"Dameon!" she yelled, not meaning to call him but just to express her frustration. She knew it wasn't his fault the stone had targeted her, wasn't his fault she couldn't move her arm out of the way quickly enough. He had done everything he could, but why, why, why must she wear that confounded sling—

The door was opening, and a pair of guarded brown eyes peeked in. "What is the matter, sword singer?"

He still called her that, though it had been nearly two weeks now. She scowled, and answered, "My hair!"

He came into the room and cautiously regarded said object. After a moment, a small smile changed his expression from one of confusion to something like kindness. "It is beautiful."

"I can't braid it!" she huffed, not willing to be charmed into a good mood just yet. Then she said, shoving the brush at his chest, "You do it!"

He caught the brush but only stared at it, his mouth slightly open. "A week ago you wouldn't let me tear off my own bread!" he protested.

"Well, you have been promoted, Dameon!" She purposely used his name, his actual name, not his title, because she was feeling spiteful and rebellious and blast it, she hated that stupid sling!

"Sword singer—"

She glared up at him and imagined she could see his protests falling to pieces around him.

"Rhen—" he amended, more quietly, almost timidly (and she found she liked the funny twist he gave it, as though the h was not entirely silent, as though it was meant to make a half-whisper sound, and not only to take up space). "I— I have no idea how to braid."

She looked at him standing uncertainly in the doorway, and she felt a surge of irritation at herself. He was just trying to help. Why couldn't she be nice?

"I— I am sorry, Dameon,this time she said the name because she needed to feel comfortable, for once not stiff or formal. "This isn't your fault. I am just— so frustrated, because—"

To her horror, angry tears had started flowing down her face. "Because my hair," she continued stubbornly, wiping her eyes with her free hand. "I can't do anything— I wanted to go home—"

She hadn't intended to tell him this, and was mortified to find herself doing so. "I wanted to see Pa again—" the tears flowed faster. "And Ma—" she sniffed. "And— Jenna— Danny— Peter—"

She felt his hand gently brush her shoulder and she looked up at him, startled.

He seemed startled himself, but he only said quietly, his brown eyes focused on her nose (why did he always look at her nose?) "I can try to braid your hair, if you will teach me."

She sniffed and managed to wipe most of the tears away, soothed not so much by his words as by his presence. Anyone else would have abandoned her to her tantrum long before now; she was thankful for his patience. It was like having a friend again. She smiled at the idea and pulled him into a grateful one-armed hug, was surprised at the softness and warmth of his robes, found that he had stiffened at the sudden contact, quickly released him, looked shyly at her feet.

And perhaps she only imagined it, but as he brushed through her hair she thought his ears seemed just a shade pinker.


You thought the hair problem was going to be Dameon's, didn't you? ;P

On another note, this was the first piece that included hair braiding. So you can blame this one for all the other hair-related fanart and fanfic I've made 


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@Blackprincess: Thank you! I was trying to make her seem actually upset and not necessarily bantering/teasing buuut I failed I guess. Ahaha. But I'm glad you liked it at least!

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I figured I might as well update this while I was here XD 



The chronology in this part of the game is very vague. There are several sidequests which might be complete before going to Clearwater, and one main quest which probably should be, but for Rhen's sake we will go straight to Clearwater without doing any of those things. It has been a year and a number of months since she's been home, and when she gets there, her father tells her that she's... not... his... daughter. On top of that, her real mother is dead, her father is presumed dead, AND, her childhood crush is missing. All in all I think Rhen has had a tough time and she rather deserves the attentions this story. 


So her dad wasn't her dad. Her ma wasn't even kinda related to her. Her actual dad was a miserable old guy who had never bothered to look for her. Or, he seemed old in his misery, but she supposed he wasn't actually any older than Pa. Her actual ma was dead, had probably died fighting Ahriman, who, it seemed, was determined to completely and irreversibly ruin her life.

And, Danny was missing.

But Rhen was not going to have another bad day. Not here, not now. Today she was going to do something fun and stupid, and anyone who thought otherwise would be subjected to an unpleasant conversation with her blade. She said as much after breakfast.

"I suppose you are too old to be bossed around by me anymore," was all Ma said. Pa laughed and agreed. "Hurry off then, lass. Come back for dinner!"

Rhen smiled and hugged her pa her pa, no matter what anyone else said. Then she turned to her other four companions, daring any of them to protest.

Dameon and Te'ijal just smiled at her, Dameon apparently finding the idea very charming, and Te'ijal apparently amused, as she always was.

Elini shrugged. "I was going to scout the village."

"Scout?" Lars asked dubiously.

"For husbands," Elini said, quite seriously. She shook her head. "Silly northerner!"

Lars frowned petulantly. "Well, I was going to to scout for intelligence. Come on, Te'ijal, Dameon, we haven't got all day!"

Dameon frowned at him, probably because he was being so bossy. But Te'ijal just chuckled, eternally entertained, and then followed Lars out the door. Dameon briefly touched Rhen's shoulder, with a soft, "Have fun, Rhen," and then he followed them. Rhen rubbed where his fingers had brushed, feeling suddenly very warm.

"I hope they don't kill each other," Elini said as soon as the doors closed. Rhen managed a laugh.

"Good luck with your errand; there aren't many bachelors here, last I checked."

"But then, I presume you weren't particularly looking?"

Rhen blushed, immediately thinking of Danny, but said, "Er, no, I guess not..."

Thankfully, Elini left after that, and Rhen was free to find whatever adventure she might.

First, she headed for Peter's house. Peter was always up for doing something stupid (Danny never had been, now that she thought of it). In fact, this whole stupid quest was rather Peter's fault to begin with but she could only be mad at herself. She shouldn't have talked to that stranger. But maybe it didn't matter. Probably her destiny would have caught up with her anyway.

She was so caught up in these thoughts, which she had promised not to think, that she almost ran right into a red-haired man. He apologized and then his eyes widened. "Rhen, you're back!" He grinned. "Welcome home!"

"Peter?" she said, hardly believing it. "You are so different!"

"I am different? You are the one wearing strange new clothes! And what do you need that huge blade for?"

Rhen laughed. "Never mind all that, I'm here to do something fun! Let's go chase Billy Harper's sheep or something!"

Peter laughed awkwardly.

"What?" she demanded, confused.

"Um, I watch Billy Harper's sheep now."

"Oh..." she had forgotten how long it had been, how much things must have changed.  "And... Jenna?"

"We're married now!" he said, and grinned.

"Oh, that's... wonderful. Really." And it really was. Jenna and Peter had liked each other for years. But... she just wished her own life was turning out so normally.

After she promised to join them for dinner one day ("Probably very far in the future," she had told him), they parted, and Rhen shuffled aimlessly through the village muttering to herself. "Well, now what?"

There was no one left to talk to her. They had all moved on, grown up. She had left, had been taken, and she could never, ever come back. The place she'd left didn't exist anymore. The friends she'd left were gone, were new people. She was alone.

There was an abundance of apples, red apples. She noticed it more now that she had been so many places where there weren't apples. But what could she possibly do with an apple? Maybe she could make some kind of mischief with the corn-stealing squirrels they had found. She picked one up and glared at it. Did squirrels eat apples? She wasn't sure. But, it was the only idea she had, so towards the squirrels she went. And she didn't think at all about the years before, or what she was going to do with her future, now that the past was gone.

It was an hour's hike to the squirrels' cave er, base. But really she didn't even want to go there, nor did she have any idea what she would do when she got there, so half an hour later she was still not even a third of the way there. She was standing in front of yet another apple tree, deliberating, or resting, or most likely stalling, when she heard an excessively angry and pompous voice saying, "Just leave it! It's probably feral."

"It's lost," another voice, quiet and serious, protested.

"You are both most amusing," a cool female voice said.

Rhen peeked around the tree and had to smile at the scene before her. It appeared Dameon had found a cat, which he was cradling in his arms. Lars found it disgusting, and Te'ijal, as usual, found it funny. Rhen supposed it must be her job to find a resolution.

"What's going on here?" she said, stepping out from behind the tree.

Lars yelped and jumped into a defensive posture, and Dameon shielded the cat. Rhen and Te'ijal both laughed, and the cat, a brown, spotted little thing, meowed.

Lars scowled and Dameon turned red. The druid retracted his shield spell and explained sheepishly, "We thought you were another enchanted tree."

Rhen laughed again, enjoying the incongruity of the Sun Druid coddling a stray cat. "No, just me," she said.

"And it appears that we are the ones enchanted," he said with a half-smile.

Rhen was aware that her nose had turned pink but she tried to pretend she wasn't. "What'd you find?" she said, motioning at the cat.

"A wild animal!" Lars said angrily.

"A cat," Dameon corrected, glaring at him.

"He thinks we should bring it home," Te'ijal explained, pointing at Dameon, "and he," now she pointed at Lars, "thinks we should leave it."

Rhen tossed aside the apple she had been carrying. "The first one sounds more exciting," she said, smiling at Dameon gratefully because now she wouldn't have to hike to the squirrel's base. He looked happily back at her or at her nose. Had his eyes always been that dark?

"Fine, let's get this over with!" Lars huffed, stomping off into the forest. "There better be some kind of reward!"

"I saw a cottage not far from here," Te'ijal said.

"We'll go there first," Lars said over his shoulder.

"The cottage was in the other direction."

Lars glared at her but turned around.

They found the cottage and entered the front gate. Dameon had let Rhen hold the cat, which had started purring. When he thought Rhen wasn't looking, Dameon would reach over to scratch the cat's ears, and then he would quickly look away when he noticed Rhen watching. And it was stupid, and dumb, and ridiculous, but his awkward display of embarrassment was sort of cute and it made her smile, so she kept pretending not to look so he would do it again. She knew he wasn't completely socially inept: at times he could be perfectly charming. But sometimes he was embarrassed and flustered by everything, and it was strange to think, but it seemed to happen mostly when she made him look at her eyes, and not at her nose, for goodness sake.

They arrived at the door, and Rhen gave the cat back to Dameon (which made him smile, which made her smile) so she could knock. A grumpy voice from inside said "Come in," so they did.

"My eye! My eye!" an old man was muttering to himself.

"What's wrong with your eye?" Rhen asked, alarmed.

"My brother, Dorvan, stole it from me. The wretched man dragged it away to his house in the south."

Rhen could only stare in shock, but Lars had something to say. "That's disgusting. Why would your brother steal your eye?"

"Not my real eye, you fool!" the old man scolded. "I had a magical glass eye that I used to see. Without the glass eye, I'm blind!"

"How awful!" Rhen said.

"The back gate is locked," Te'ijal announced, which made Rhen jump. Dameon touched her arm reassuringly and gave her the cat again. She thought the room suddenly felt rather hot.

The old man seemed to understand the vampress. "I locked the gate behind my house because a confounded demon kept coming up from the caves to terrorize my little Zini!"

"Who is Zini?" Rhen asked, petting the cat.

"My precious cat!" he answered.


"Oh, there you are, Zini!" the old man said. The cat jumped out of Rhen's arms and began rubbing its head against the old man's legs.

Oh. That should have been obvious, she supposed. She looked at Dameon and shrugged. He smiled back. She turned to the old man. "Can you unlock the gate for us? We can rid you of the demon."

The old man frowned. "Find my glass eye and I will open the gate for you."

Rhen agreed to this, and they made their way back out of the cottage.

"Well, that was the start of an adventure," Rhen said.

Lars rolled his eyes. "That is all the adventure I am taking part in today. I'm going back to Clearwater for some rest."

"Rest is for mortals," Te'ijal said. "But I would like to reapply my sunscreen."

Rhen didn't want to go back, not yet. She couldn't face all those changes. She turned to Dameon. "You'll do something with me, right?"

His ears turned pink and he stammered, "I youyes of course, Rhen."

She smiled widely and grabbed his hand (and his cheeks turned pink, too). "Come on! We'll go chase some sheep!"


But she sped up and didn't give him the chance to question her any further.

The sheep were completely unsuspecting. Their noses were to the ground. The only sounds to be heard were their feeble baahs and the crunching of grass and, from the edge of the forest surrounding the meadow, the whispered protests of Dameon.

"Aren't we a little old for this"

"Sshh! You'll alert the sheep."



"I don't"



"Dameon," she scolded, locking her eyes onto his. She liked watching his guarded gaze soften. His usual defenses broke up and he was open to her.

He colored but managed to stammer, "I don't like this. What if they panic and run off the mountain?"

"They won't."

"How do you know?"

She was surprised by the earnestness of his concern. "Haven't you ever chased sheep before?"

He stared at her with wide brown eyes and then looked away. "No."

"Youyou never"

She had known before but somehow hadn't realized that both of his parents had been druids, and two of the most isolated druids. Where did he play? How did he play? Had he even known other children? But these weren't questions she could ask, not now.

Instead, she reached out and took his hand. "Come try with me. It will be okay." She smiled gently at him. He looked back at herat her nose, his dark eyes like prison bars and nodded once.

And they ran.

The sheep bleated loudly and leaped out of their way, like waves of cotton parting before them. Rhen laughed and squeezed Dameon's hand. His lips were pressed together tightly, making a firm, straight line. They changed direction and the sheep scattered again, some running into each other.

"Yah! Yah!" she yelled. "Fear us, sheep!"

Now he was smiling, just a little.

"Yah! Yah!" She laughed and changed direction again. The sheep went every direction to escape; one confused ewe ran in a circle.

"Rhen" his smile was large now, "this is"

"Oi!" a red-haired man yelled from the other side of the pasture. "Rhen, I told you watch the sheep now!" He began running towards them.

"Quick, retreat!" Rhen squealed delightedly.

They ran back into the forest, dodging roots, ducking under branches, and they kept running until the sheep field had faded to a dot in the distance, until they couldn't hear Peter behind them. Laughing and panting, Rhen collapsed against a tree, pulling Dameon down beside her. "That was so much fun!" she gasped.

He smiled widely. "I had fun too."

"Dameon," she said, leaning her head on his arm. "You're one of my best friends."

He had stiffened at the contact but now he slowly, slowly relaxed.

"You— too."

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I'm just gonna leave this update here okay thanks

EDIT: Once again I have failed to write in chronological order so Imma just put up this piece before the original piece that occupied this post and it'll be another double update thingy ahahaa


Me Too

Please take this nice little oneshot about Rhen and co spelunking in the Blackbone Caves to rescue Armaiti’s soul. And also of course mostly about Rhen and Dameon and their heckin cute little budding friendship.

All the other daevas (except Aesma) chose places with historical or spiritual significance to wait for The Chosen One, so I gave the Blackbone Caves a tiny mythology too.


According to the stories, some ancient evil had made its home in these caves in the old days. The bones of the heroes who’d tried to defeat it were melted into the cave walls, burned and broken and finally fossilized, the black scorch marks serving as a reminder for the ages that once a demon had dwelt here, once death had lived below the mountain. That’s why they gave these caves the name Blackbone.

That’s what the stories said, but Rhen didn’t believe them. Yes, okay, she admitted the formation to her left looked eerily like a ribcage, but there were lots of weird formations in caves. That’s just the way caves were. And yes, she took pains to sidestep the uncannily skull-shaped rocks that littered the floor, but definitely not because she thought they were skulls. They just unnerved her, was all.

Te’ijal did not seem unnerved in the least, and had quickly passed the rest of the group, her eyes adjusting to the darkness more readily than theirs. Rhen could still hear her somewhere ahead of them, taking out the rasps and the sickle snakes, and when the passage was particularly long she could see the vampress’s outline bounding excitedly from one morbid formation to the next.

Elini, too, seemed to find the charred skeletal rocks fascinating. She was babbling about their possible latent magical abilities with Lars.

Rhen, personally, would rather not hear about all the creepy rocks, thank you very much. She had heard plenty of stories already. There was a traveller who had come through Clearwater sometimes, and for a bit of dinner he’d share the most horrifying tales he’d collected on his adventures. In Rhen’s opinion the stories were fifty times better than the real thing.

Because the stories weren’t real.

And that was probably why she had hung back from the rest of the group to walk with Dameon, and why she was now telling him one of the more frightening tales in a low, lively voice. Low, because the caves were dark and full of echoes, lively because it hid the anxious quaver in her throat.

Dameon listened attentively, his eyes wide and round and shimmering softly in the glow of the magic ball of light he held in his hands. He trembled at all the right parts, he made a choked almost-chuckling sound at all the funny ones, and when she got to the end, “And some say the demon still lives in the Blackbone caves to this— daaay!

— Well, that was when she tripped into him, and the light went out and it was very dark and confused and tangled— and she didn't want to land on those horrid blackened bones so she clutched desperately at what was in front of her— and— when it was all over and he’d managed to make another light he was backed against the cave wall and her hands were fisted in his robes. And now her face was hot, and his was rosy in the yellow glow, and she could feel both of their hearts pounding—

“Hello there,” she squeaked, straightening herself and stepping back slightly.

“Hi,” he said, still pressed to the side of the cavern. “Are you all right?”

Now her ears were hot, too. “Yes. Sorry, I tripped.” She swallowed and managed to say with some levity, “Ruined the end of a perfectly good story, too.”

He gave her a small smile and pushed himself off the wall with his elbows. ”That's all right. It was maybe more exciting this way.”

She felt a grin crack across her face— this was much better than listening to some lecture on demonic tainted objects and their uses in summoning. Speaking of which, Elini was looking back at them with what looked suspiciously like a laugh etched on her face, which was highly insensitive and presumptuous, Rhen thought.

“Where did you hear that story, anyway?” Dameon asked, as they began walking forward again.

Rhen shot him a crooked smile. “Oh, I got it from this adventurer who used to come through Clearwater sometimes.”


“Yeah,” she said, and laughed. “It’s funny, we all treated him like royalty. We’d have a sort of fair every time he came through town.”

“A fair?”

“You know, silly games and baked goods and showing off our apple crop and stuff. He probably thought we were all ridiculous. I think we were.”

He gave her an encouraging little nod, a sort of I see, and then cast his eyes down.

“Anyway, he’d always ask Ma to mend some rip in his cloak and he’d tell us stories while she worked. Not just scary stories,” she said, in response to his raised eyebrows. “Some ridiculous stories, too, about his pirate lover and wicked goblins and giant squirrels. I always thought they were just made-up.” She laughed, a little ruefully. “Guess not.”

His light made the shadows dance off the rocks, softening their edges. They looked much friendlier this way.

Everything was quiet for a moment, and then Dameon made a low sound in his throat, and Rhen looked up at him. “I didn’t see many travellers in Aveyond,” he said shyly, watching the ground. “Nobody… nobody is supposed to know where it is.”

She rubbed her arm. These caves were warm. Weren’t caves supposed to be cool? “Well,” she began carefully, “lucky for me I’m not nobody.”

He glanced up briefly, a small smile tugging at one corner of his mouth. He had full lips like Talia, Rhen had noticed lately.

Also lately she found she liked when he smiled, and she liked to watch the slow grin that grew on his face when she was being silly. How long had it been since someone laughed at her jokes? Oh, she’d been laughed at plenty in the past year, that was for sure, but this was—


I know where Aveyond is,” she found herself saying, with waggish arrogance, and the other corner of his mouth came up. “I bet that old traveller would be jealous of me,” she continued, tossing her head. “I’m a princess, after all.” She tried to say it haughtily, but it came out with a bitter edge that scraped her throat— “I’m the chosen one!”

— She meant for him to laugh, but now he watched her sadly. He was supposed to laugh, and then she could laugh and pretend it really didn’t bother her at all, maybe she could even pretend it wasn’t even real at all, but now instead she just felt—

Wide open.

She looked away and tried to clear her throat. “Er— well, anyway, I bet he never even left the Western Isle.”

She could feel his dark eyes on her. They made her gut warm. “I’m sorry,” he said softly. “Nobody should have to find that out like you did.”

She raised her eyes to meet his, and was surprised at the understanding in his gaze. She looked down again. “S’alright,” she mumbled, and shrugged. “Anyway, maybe— maybe if it happened differently I never would have met you.”

He hesitated, drawing his eyebrows together so there was a little crease between them. “Are you saying— do you— do you think that makes it—-” he paused, and then he finished quietly, timidly, “worth it?”

She felt a soft smile sprout on her lips. She hadn’t expected to smile here. “Right now I think so. I’m glad I met you.”

The light flickered faintly and the shadows trembled on the walls.


She looked up at him.

“Rhen, you— you are the most— I—” he faltered, and finished almost fiercely, “I’m glad I met you, too.”

And now Rhen smiled a full smile, not because it was funny but just because she was happy— oh, it had been a long time. She stepped closer to him and his soft yellow light.

“Wanna hear another story?” she asked lowly, her voice trembling now with the opposite of nerves.

And the corner of his mouth quirked up again.


Aaand here's the original contents of this post:


In the Dark
Eventually Rhen must leave Clearwater again and get on with her quest. After rescuing Armaiti I always escort him to Aveyond instead of going to Sedona, so that's what I made Rhen's party do here. Rhen tries to convince Devin to go back to Thais and he tells her about her past, and Dameon and Talia have an unpleasant discussion which will be repeated in the short. I made them stay the night at the sun temple, which they can't do in-game but which it makes sense for them to do, and I'm the boss of the story so they'll do what I want.


The rain made a hollow, echoing sound on the stone roof above him. Everyone else was asleep, but he couldn't sleep, not after all that had been said. He was restless, pacing the main room of the Sun Temple, remembering.

"My son, have you forgiven me yet?"

She was a murderer. She was the murderer, and a traitor. How could there be forgiveness for such a crime?

"He had to die, you know that."

He wanted to scream. She had taken his hero, his father. And then she had abandoned him, just like she'd abandoned his father's bleeding, dying soul, left them both to suffer alone—

A slender hand touched his elbow, and there was Rhen.

"What happened to Dameon's father? Why did he have to die?"

"He was the Sun priest before Dameon. He turned to dark ways and used the powers of the sun to help Ahriman return to power."

That's how she had put it. Dameon remembered differently. He didn't know a Sun priest. He knew the man who taught him healing spells, who explored Memory Caverns and Teacup Town with him, who brought brightly colored Aveyondian flowers to the Dreamworld for his mother. His mother


He turned, startled, and a flash of lightning illuminated Rhen's face.

"Why are you still up?" she asked, crossing the room and touching his elbow.

He pulled away. He couldn't think when she touched him. He couldn't even breathe. He didn't know why.

"It's nearly dawn," she said quietly, wrapping her arms around herself. The wind picked up and the rain made a more solid, staccato sound above them, like a panicked heartbeat.

"I cannot sleep," he said finally, hoarsely, not looking at her, seeing only his mother's grim face while his father lay dying on the floor.

Thunder crashed above them. Rhen jumped slightly, and shivered. "Me neither."

Something in the way she said it caught at him, pulled him out of the past, and now he looked at her (or at her nose, stubby and slightly upturned). "What's wrong?"

She rubbed her arms, looked shyly at her toes. "I'm afraid for the future."

He nodded. "Me too."

"I don't know anything about being a queen." She was speaking quickly, frightened, vulnerable, her lavender hair falling into her face. "I don't even know what Thais looks like. I— I can't even remember my mother."

He was quiet, thinking. Her mother was not like his mother; Queen Alicia had died for her child, not killed for herself. And yet, both had left their children alone.

"I can't feel anything for Devin. I don't know him."

Not feeling was something he couldn't understand. He felt everything, so harshly it frightened him.

"I am not... ready. I can't do any of this. I will disappoint all four of my parents." She shivered again, and he realized she didn't have thick robes like he did. Slowly, hesitating, he took off his outer robe and draped it over her shoulders. Her cheeks were pink and so were his.

"You will catch a cold," he explained.

She nodded. "Thank you."

He swallowed and managed to say, slowly, "You don't... need to be ready... yet. And you can... choose for yourself, when the time... comes. You can... make your own destiny." He paused, suddenly overcome with shyness, and— and jealousy, and then he blurted, "I think Devin is proud of you."

She looked at him with her wide violet eyes and he couldn't look away. "Thank you, Dameon." She smiled softly. "I think Talia is proud of you, too. She just doesn't know how to express it."

He colored, because he felt angry, and betrayed, and... lost.

Rhen touched his elbow again, and it made his heart leap into his throat but it also grounded him, steadied him. "I... am sorry, about your father."

No one had ever said that. Only Dameon had regretted losing him, only Dameon had mourned. But here was this stubby-nosed warrior who could understand and be sorry, even in the dark.

"Thank you."

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I've been hesitating to post this next piece because I might write one that goes before it, but as of now it isn't started so whatever, I'll just edit this post if I end up writing it. Anyway, you can always find everything in order here 


Night Watch

If I actually had to obtain sap from trees to have it in my stories, this piece would have resulted in the obliteration of half the world forests*.

Set in the late hours of the night while the party is camping in the Wildwoods. 

All the constellations mentioned are references to one of the games. Mostly AP, cuz that's the one I know best, having played it approximately fifty million times.

*Fortunately, story sap does not need to come from trees and no plants were harmed in the making of this fanfiction.

It was Rhen's turn to keep watch. Usually they just let Te'ijal keep watch, but the vampress had asked for time to explore, by which she likely meant hunt but anyway, Elini had woken Rhen up to take her turn about an hour ago, and at first everything had been quiet and uneventful (besides Dameon's soft snoring, and Lars's sitting up suddenly to throw a boot at him before falling back asleep like nothing had happened). But then she'd heard rustling leaves and the sound of cracking twigs from somewhere just beyond the glow of the dying fire.

She hadn't wanted to wake everyone up if it was nothing, so she'd drawn her sword (and the shhiiish of the metal against the scabbard made her heart race) and she'd gone to investigate alone. And now here she was, fumbling through the darkness, looking for who knew what. She was probably going to get attacked before she could even find a place to put her feet

"Oof!" Her foot found a root and she was careening forward. Her sword went flying and her palms found the forest floor and scraped against the dirt and foliage whatever it was heard her crash to the ground and dashed away. Probably just an animal, then. Maybe a very lost rabbit.

She pushed herself to her feet and scowled down at her hands. They were bleeding and stinging and had bits of dirt and twig stuck in them. Stupid, clumsy. It was going to be hard to hold her sword now, when she found where it had landed. If she could find it, in these woods. She should have woken someone up. She scowled and blew her bangs away from her face. She hated to ask for help, especially for something so trivial, but she had made enough mistakes for one night. She'd better go get somebody.

Probably Dameon. Maybe he wouldn't mind, because he had the next watch anyway. He could probably conjure some kind of light to help her look around. And, he wouldn't scold her or tease her.

So she made her way back to the campsite and managed to find where Dameon's mat was without stepping on everyone else (though she nearly kicked Elini in the head), and she kneeled beside him.

"Dameon," she whispered, and reached out to shake his shoulder

Except before her hand got there he shifted and his eyes opened, and he was looking at her very seriously, and sitting up. "Is it my watch?"

"Er no, I" She hesitated. He was going to think she was so stupid, for waking him up for something so unimportant. She should have just waited for her watch to be over. But he was up now, so she stammered, "I I need your help."

He blinked.

"I lost my sword," she explained, and pointed at the woods. "There was something moving, and I went to investigate, and I er, I tripped." She was blushing and he still looked so serious. "And I scraped up my hands," she added, holding them up for him to see why was she mentioning that? She folded her arms and shoved her fingers under her elbows and tried to finish her thought. "So could you help me?"

She was ashamed to look in his eyes but she didn't have anywhere else to look but he just nodded, and held out his palms towards her.

She stared at them uncertainly for a moment, until he whispered, "May I see?"

"Er what?"

He furrowed his eyebrows (he had nice eyebrows, which was a weird thing to think but there it was). "Your hands. You said they were injured?"

"Oh— eryes," she stammered. "But I meant I didn't expect well I guess here," she finished defeatedly, and put her hands, palms up, in his. She guessed they could look for her sword later.

He had long, graceful fingers that made her hands look like they belonged to a dwarf, a clumsy dwarf, because they were all scratched up, and she felt very self-conscious and stupid. And burdensome why had she not just waited? "Sorry about waking you up for this. I should have let you sleep."

"I don't mind," he whispered back, now holding her hands her clumsy dwarf hands in one of his so he could use the other to pull out his waterskin. "This is my job, isn't it?"

She tried to feel guilty, for making him feel like he was expected to do things like this, but he had a soft sort of voice and she just felt soothed.

He poured the cold water from his waterskin over her hands and rubbed her palms gently, cleaning off the dirt and blood, and she shivered and thought that his eyes were very dark, and that his long, long fingers were warm, and that they fit around hers kind of nicely, and somehow what she decided to say from all of this was, "You have very big hands."

He glanced up at her and it seemed like his ears were pink. "I guess I do, compared to yours," he said, putting the water away now, and drying her hands with his sleeve.

He started whispering one of his spells and she looked up at the sky and wondered why she had to be so awkward. If she had to be tasked with saving the world and ruling a country and all that nonsense, she at least could have been fortunate enough to have a little natural tact, a little innate charm. Something.

"Are you looking at Serendipity?" Dameon whispered, letting go of her now-healed hands and gesturing up at a group of stars. "The sort of diamond shape?"

"That's supposed to be Serendipity? The Nymph of Luck?"

He smiled. "Yes."

Rhen stifled a laugh. "She looks like a box."

Dameon made a sound that seemed almost like a chuckle, which made her blush for whatever reason. She cleared her throat and scanned the sky the stars were kind of pretty, and comfortable, somehow. They were always the same. Constant. "What else is up there?"

He shifted next to her. "Well... there's Eliza Stoneheart." He traced a few seemingly random stars with his finger which looked very elegant, silhouetted against the night sky.

"Hmm." That was a strange name. "Was she a dwarf?"

"What?" He looked at her and then back at the sky. "No, she was a warrior. Like you."

"Oh." Rhen felt herself blushing, and she wasn't sure if Dameon could tell in the dark. "Why did they call her Stoneheart? Was she cruel?"

He crinkled his eyebrows again, which was nice. "I don't know."

Rhen looked up at the stars he had traced, and she thought they looked very far away. Sort of solitary, and... and maybe a little sad. "Perhaps," she began uncertainly. "Perhaps she was really kind. And she was just... just lonely."

He looked at her and there was a sort of softness in his eyes. "Maybe."

And maybe Eliza Stoneheart was lonely, but Rhen wasn't, not right now, with Dameon sitting beside her talking quietly about things that didn't matter a bit.

"Is there anything over that way?" she asked, pointing.

He followed her gesture and tilted his head. "I think... do you see the triangular shape? With the line through it?"

She moved closer to him to see where he was pointing and she felt warm. "Yeah, I think so."

He continued slowly, "I think that one is Yeccanuath, the mother of the Tehyor dragons."

"Hmm." Yeccanuath was big, and bright, and "She looks more like one of Te'ijal's arrows."

He smiled at her, and shook his head. "There's also Squeakerbane." He was pointing at an arching line of stars. "The rooster."

She tried not to laugh. "The rooster?"


"Why is there a rooster constellation?"

"Well," he began hesitantly, "he was supposedly a scholar."

This time she really did laugh but still quietly. "What, was he the scholar of chicken-scratch penmanship?"

Dameon smiled and she found herself trying to think of something else funny to say. "Professor of the most annoying morning sounds? Disciple of eggheads?"

He smiled wider and she couldn't stop herself. "Or maybe," she waggled her eyebrows, and leaned closer to him, so that their noses almost touched "an expert on fowl love?"

He laughed, but it came out all choked, and his eyes were wide and his face was red, red, red she pulled away from him. What was she doing? She felt very warm, and he was warm, and— and the stars were very, very bright.

And even though she knew they were far, far away, they seemed to be right there with her, shining with the opposite of solitude.

"What what other constellations are there?"

He was quiet, and still red, but in a comfortable way, and his dark eyes were searching the sky.

"There's the glass coffin, here," he pointed. "The rectangle with the point at the end."

She leaned towards him, slowly and carefully this time, and found the shape he described.

"A coffin?" she asked, smiling maybe because it was funny, or maybe because it was bright.

"It sounds sort of morbid, doesn't it?" he said, and smiled too. "It goes with an old story about a sleeping princess."


It was pretty, and she felt warm, and also safe, maybe, and

She yawned. "I wish I were a sleeping princess."

He touched her arm, just barely, and said, looking at her with that serious expression that was becoming familiar, "Why don't you go to bed? I can finish your watch."

She looked back at him. "Are you sure?"

He nodded once. "Of course."

She tried to refuse, to do what she was supposed to do, and finish what was expected of her but the starlight sparkled timidly in his eyes, and instead she whispered, "Okay. Thank you, Dameon."

And she crawled to where her mat was, and settled into it, and watched the outline of Dameon scan the campsite, and stir the fire, and move in and out of the stars, like he belonged to them

And she fell asleep, and completely forgot about looking for her stupid sword.

But when she woke up in the morning it was by her mat, and Dameon was picking twigs out of his hair.

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@Ant:o Wow, thank you so much!! I am ecstatic that you liked these, thanks for taking the time to comment! I'm glad you liked the constellations too, they were fun to come up with! Thank you for making such a rich world to write about, and thanks for creating these wonderful characters and writing such a profound and beautiful story for them (and for throwing in so much hilarity, too!)

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Time to fill these forums with a little bit more of my favorite pairing of all time. Happy November!


At a Loss

I have made the executive decision that after Rhen and co bring the druid from the Western Isle to Aveyond, they go to the Eastern Isle to search for Danny; Rhen just got that message from his mother and she is worried about him. They find Danny in Ghed'ahre, laying down on a vampire's table.

Most of this dialogue comes from the game.

Dameon couldn't understand the feelings that were making his heart pound and his head spin, but he knew that he did not like the short man who was sprawled across the vampire's table. Sure, he looked unassuming enough, but something in the way Rhen cried "Danny! What have they done to you?" made Dameon's throat tighten, and his stomach coiled painfully as she explained distractedly, "He's a boy from my village."

Lars thought the man was dead, but Te'ijal said he wasn't, and Rhen stuck a cassia leaf in his mouth, holding his head gently, hands trembling, and Dameon felt his chest constrict like he'd been punched, or like he was falling. He did not like this Danny

"Ugh... my head," Danny was groaning, rubbing his temples, and Rhen was grabbing his shoulders, and Dameon's chest was tight and shaking

"Danny, what are you doing here?" Rhen demanded. "Your mother is worried sick about you!"

But Danny only groaned and squeezed his eyes shut, and Rhen threw Dameon a frightened, pleading look that muddled everything even more, and he stepped forward to mutter some healing spells over the man's head.

Finally, Danny raised his eyes to meet Rhen's, and reached out to take her hands. "Rhen, is that you? I've been looking for you for so long..."

Dameon swallowed hard and forced himself to look away.

"How did you get here?" Rhen was asking Danny, and Dameon's hands clenched into fists.

"I came looking for you after you disappeared from the village," Danny explained.

Had he known her that long? Had they been that close? Were they still

Dameon realized his nails were cutting into his palms, and he tried to relax. But he couldn't, because Danny was saying to Rhen, "Come, I must get you home safe," and Dameon felt a very familiar feeling, the panicked, desperate feeling of losing someone

"I am perfectly fine and I can't go home yet," Rhen said firmly, and the panic dropped away from him, jarringly, replaced by something new and sturdy, and shaky and terrifying. And Rhen was continuing, "You had best hurry there yourself."

"You don't want to go back?" Danny asked incredulously, and Dameon looked at Rhen again, hardly knowing that he did it. She had let go of Danny's hands and was clutching at her braid.

"I can't. I just can't," she said sadly, and Dameon felt an entirely new and confounding urge to stroke her hair. "Please don't ask me more."

Dameon had opened his mouth, to say what he didn't know, but Danny spoke first.

"I think I'm not ready to go back to Clearwater either. I've grown fond of traveling the world. I think I will continue to explore the isles for a while."

Rhen stared at him miserably but Dameon noticed more than Danny did, because Danny was reaching into his pocket and pulling a crumpled letter out. "Please," he said, extending the letter to Rhen, "give this to my mother, will you?"

Rhen took the paper in shaking hands, and Dameon thought she might cry but she didn't. She rarely did. She opened and closed her mouth, soundlessly, and Danny put his hands over hers, smiling, talking to her. Dameon's head was spinning again and his chest hurt. He wanted to push Danny away

"I'm sorry, Rhen," Danny was saying, taking his hands from Rhen's and straightening a small pack on his shoulder, "but I must leave you now." He turned away, and walked towards the door. Rhen stared after him, her small mouth hanging open, her purple eyes shining with tears which didn't fall.

"Wait!" she choked, her hand stretched out towards him (and Dameon felt his stomach curling into tight, writhing knots). "Where are you going?"

Danny turned briefly and said, "Sedona, I think. Yes, Sedona." And he walked out, leaving Rhen still standing by the table, eyes wide. This, Dameon understood. This was the panicked, desperate feeling of losing someone

"I'm sorry, Rhen," he found himself saying, hesitantly reaching for her shoulder

Suddenly her head was on his shoulder, and she was trembling like she was going to cry maybe she was crying, but he couldn't see her face. Her arms were around his neck and his heart was trying to break out of his ribcage, and this was definitely not something he understood. Lars was rolling his eyes, and Elini and Te'ijal were snickering. But Dameon couldn't let Rhen cry, so he wrapped his arms around her, too, and the shaking in his gut was unfamiliar and frightening and wonderful.

"I'm sorry," he mumbled again, clumsily. He wasn't sorry Danny had left but he was sorry for how it hurt her. He was sorry she'd ever had to leave home and sorry for the way everyone expected everything of her. And he was sorry that he couldn't heal her aching heart, nothing could heal loss, he'd tried. He was sorry that all he could do was hold her and apologize.

He held her until she stopped trembling and raised her head from his shoulder to wipe her eyes on her arm, until she glared around at everyone and muttered, "Time to go," and plodded out of the house, leaving him still standing by the table with empty, useless arms and the terrifying realization that Rhen Darzon had become someone he could lose.

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@Ant XD XD Indeed. I was about to rant about all the lovely things he is going to learn throughout the rest of the oneshots but then I realized, 1. spoilers! and 2. you definitely already know XD XD 

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Happy holidays! This piece has pretty much nothing to do with Christmas or winter or any other December-related events, but it is about giving so I'm going to pretend I posted it this month on purpose.

A Little Help

So, for this piece, I wanted to show how Rhen helps Dameon change. I don't think, before her, he had much opportunity to show compassion. I don't think he really had anyone who could show him what compassion was. But I think most people are naturally compassionate, if they are brave enough. And the lovely thing about love is how it makes people brave. Also, Dameon is totally a morning person, and Rhen is totally not.

This piece assumes that the party camps between Dirkon and Sedona, and the story starts as Rhen is waking up in the morning.

It was still dark, but she could tell that Dameon was awake because he had re-lit the fire and was cooking over it. Also, he had stubbed his toe at least seven times already, and he wasn't a quiet toe-stubber.

After the seventh time she grudgingly opened her eyes. Dameon was sitting by the fire, stirring something— probably oatmeal. It was almost always oatmeal. Elini was sitting up on her mat, brushing through her hair. Lars was still lying down, but he had his eyes open and was glaring at Dameon. Te'ijal was apparently still out hunting somewhere.

The sun was starting to peak over the hills in the distance, so Rhen sat up and started feeling around for her bag. She didn't want to get up. Yesterday had been long. The travelers had found a poor little town called Dirkon that was infected with the plague, and they decided to stay and try to help even though they really should have gone on to Sedona. Actually it had been Rhen's idea to stay, but that didn't make her happy about it.

They had ended up having to kill a bunch of rats. Rhen hated rats. Then Dameon had healed the villagers as much as he could, but he didn't have any spells for the plague ("I told you so," Lars had gloated, and he had told them so, but that didn't mean she wanted to hear about it). Then, even though the day was nearly gone, they had tried to make it to Sedona to get some stupid elixirs.

But it had started to get dark before they were close, and Elini had insisted they set up camp for the night. Rhen was glad she did. She had been so tired. She was still so tired. Blast it, where was her stupid bag? She groaned and plopped back down onto her mat. It was too dark; she couldn't find anything and she hated it. Hate, hate, hate—

Oh, there it was. By her foot. She sat up again and pulled it towards her, rummaged around in it for her brush. Ugh. She didn't want to do her hair today. Her arms were sore. She was tired. Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh.

She found her brush and tried to drag it through her hair— why was it such a mess? Couldn't it ever cooperate, just a bit? Her efforts were useless and painful. Ergh. She growled and pushed her bag aside, stood up, and stomped over to Dameon.

He glanced up at her as she approached and she thought she saw a nervous look flash across his face, softening his eyes, but it was hard to tell in the firelight.

"Hi, Rhen," he said in his low, rough morning voice. "How did you sleep?"

The quiet way he talked always soothed her and she felt stupid for being so irritable now. But she still didn't want to do her hair, so she held out the brush to him. "Er... Would you mind doing my hair, um... again?"

He had done it several times since that first time in Brumwich. Actually he was getting pretty good at it. And it was nice, sometimes, to let somebody else worry about what the back of her head looked like.

He smiled and laughed softly. She didn't know how he could be so dang cheerful in the morning. But he was standing up and taking the brush from her, so she didn't mind.

"Do you want to sit down somewhere?" he asked her, and she realized that she did. She had seen a pile of rocks just at the edge of the campsite the night before. She took his hand and led him to them (and she could tell that his face was flushing, even in the feeble morning light).

They sat down and he combed through her hair. He was always so much gentler about it than her. Sometimes she would sigh exasperatedly and inform him that her scalp was not made of glass. But sometimes it was nice. Like now. Now it was nice.

"It feels good to just sit like this," Dameon was saying, "after everything that happened yesterday."

"Mmhm," Rhen agreed, closing her eyes and relishing the feel of all the tangles coming out of her hair while her arms rested motionless in her lap.

"I could tell it was especially hard for you. I..." he paused long enough for Rhen to wonder if he had changed his mind about speaking, then continued, "I couldn't figure out why you wanted to stay."

"Hm," she grunted. She wasn't sure where he was going with this.

"I know you hate rats," he said, now bracing her head with his hand to work on one of the more stubborn tangles. She did hate rats, but she liked the feel of his fingers in her hair.

"I just don't understand why you offered to help," he continued.

She was starting to feel a little judged. "Well, I— well— should I not have?"

"Oh, no! That isn't what I meant," he said, fumbling with the brush. "I just— I was merely curious."

"Oh," she said. She wasn't sure how to answer him. Why did she offer to help? She had never met any of those people before. Probably they wouldn't even say thank you. Maybe they'd end up dying anyway. And she really, really did hate rats. "I... I guess I just saw that they needed us."

He was quiet for a moment. He handed her the brush so he could braid her hair, and it really was nice to just sit and be taken care of.

"I guess no one—" he cleared his throat nervously. "No one else was going to help them, were they?"

"I guess," she said, picking at the bristles of the brush. She had some experience in having no one to help her. It was a lonely place to be. "Erm... Dameon?" she said squeakily, suddenly feeling shy.

"Yes?" he said, his hand brushing her ear as he reached for a loose piece of hair.

"Thank you for— for wanting to help me."

"Oh! Well that's— it isn't any" he cleared his throat again. "My pleasure, Rhen. Um do you have— do you have the tie?"

"Er— what?" She was too flustered to think what he meant.

"For your— for your hair," he explained.

"Oh," she said, smiling because she felt silly. "Yes, here it is." She tried to untie it from her wrist, but her hands were shaking and she couldn't get at the little knot, and— Urgh! She huffed and pulled it over her wrist, which squished her fingers and stretched out the fabric but it was off

"Thank you," he said, taking it from her. His hands were shaking, too. "Rhen?" he said, as he looped the ribbon around the end of her hair. "Thank you for— for wanting to take care of everyone else. All the people who who don't have anyone. It— it means a lot to me."

He finished tying the end of her braid and dropped it gently onto her back. She turned around to smile at him. "My pleasure, Dameon," she said. Then she frowned because she smelled... smoke? "Er... how long has the oatmeal been on?"

The contents of the pot over the fire suddenly burst into flames, and Dameon looked at her sheepishly. "Um... long enough..."


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EDIT: I'm pasting the new piece I wrote into the beginning of this post instead of the end of the last one, just because I like how it flows better. So here.


The Opposite of Solitude

Because Rhen learns a lot from Dameon, too.

Set in one of those little forest clearings in the Peninsula; Rhen has been injured by an orc and Dameon is fixing her up. Also Dameon is so much like Talia I just T.T

Lastly, the title is a reference to a related moment in "Night Watch" (ch 7) and to Rhen's question in "Golden" (ch 43, which isn't posted here yet because it is the last one ahaha spoilers)

He knew how to heal the gruesome wounds that came from Orcish weapons. Theoretically, he knew how to heal any kind of wound which could be inflicted. He had long since memorized every cure known to humanity, magical and medicinal. When he was young his father had read to him from the ancient texts, books written by the first Sun Priests, books about the theory of light magic and the appropriate herbs and tonics for every misfortune. It was a healer’s work to fight fate, to restore life where death had whispered, and he had trained for this responsibility since he was a child.

Theoretically, he had been preparing for this moment his entire life.

In reality? His hands were shaking.

There was blood everywhere— he knew how to take care of that, he was kneeling and cleaning the wound that stretched across Rhen's shoulders, staunching the flow even though his fingers trembled. His lips were forming around the words that would knit the tissue together again. Muscle memory. He had prepared for this work his whole life— and no, it wasn't the same as reading about it, it wasn't the same when his heart was pounding and his confidence wavering, when life hung in the balance and his mind was cruelly replaying that one memory that defined him, that night in the Tear Shrine with his father and his mother and the fates that tipped the scales the wrong way—

It wasn't the same, but he knew the words he was supposed to say. He knew the process. He could get through it.

But he didn't have any precedence for the twisting in his chest when he saw the scars on her back.

"Rhen," he fretted. "Rhen. What are these?" He traced the scar tissue, lightly. Her shoulders tensed anyway. He was holding his breath.

"What are what?" She clutched her pack in front of her tightly. Elini had given it to her before ushering everyone out of the little clearing, saying it would be good to have something to squeeze if the healing hurt. Dameon hoped it didn't hurt.

"These scars. When did you get them? Why didn't you tell me? I could have— It is my job. I could have done something."

Her shoulders shrugged. "Those are very old, Dameon."

"I…" He remembered, suddenly, that lock of hair that wasn't red, and he imagined the ship, and the market, and the Tenebors— there were freckles scattered on her shoulders between the scars, like wildflowers growing anywhere they could. He swallowed. He shifted on his knees so he could see her face, and slowly met her gaze.

"Rhen." It came out a little strangled. Her violet eyes saw straight through him. He had spent weeks and months trying not to look at them, but this time, for the first time, he wanted to be seen.

"I'm sorry. This is my fault. Let me try to fix this. Please? Will you let me try to heal these?"

She blinked, and watched him steadily. "You didn't put the scars there, Dameon."

He wanted to hide. Or run. Instead he held her gaze and stammered, "I didn't know. I didn't want this, for— for anyone." Not even that woman— and he hated himself for it. "Please, let me try? Let me try to make this better?"

She looked away. "It's kind of you to worry. But you can't change what happened. You can't heal the real wounds."

"I know," he choked, and paused to find his breath. "I know." He was rolling the ends of his sleeves in his fingers. They would fray if he didn't stop. His father would have scolded him, if he was— here.

"There are hurts beyond magic and medicine. There are pains I can never ease. I know it," he swallowed again, choked down the memory and everything that came with it, "and I'm sorry. Let me do what I can. Please. Let me help with this."

Her eyes were still angled down, and her long eyelashes cast dramatic shadows over her face. "Why?"

His sleeves were going to be tattered rags. Because he felt responsible. Because it was his job. Because he was lonely. Because… Because...

"I want to be... your friend."

She had told him, more than once now, that they were friends. He didn't know how to believe her. Friends had never been a part of his studies, it was not a concept covered in Ajo's 101 Magical Remedies. Maybe— maybe he had been friends with some of the binis, when he was a child. He had never used that word, he wasn't sure he'd known it. But Morsel would sing songs for him, sometimes, loudly, off-key, laughing the whole time. That was something friends did.

Wasn't it?

And Lambchop would collect useless sparkling things for him, buttons or broken pieces of pottery or other similarly worthless scraps. He got them from the travelling sales squirrels. Dameon had never been allowed to visit Teacup Town when the squirrels were there. Maybe that's why he'd kept all those silly artifacts tucked carefully under his bed.

He didn't know if they were still there. And he couldn't remember when he had stopped visiting Teacup Town, or why. He just hadn't. And after— after that night, it was pointless. Everything was pointless. This was all ridiculous, why was he even thinking about it, why had he said anything at all—


He looked up and his eyes met hers again. She smiled gently. "You are my friend. And I will let you help me." Her long eyelashes fluttered almost shyly, and then she touched his wrist. "I almost forgot that's part of this friend thing. It's been a while. So— thank you."

He blinked. "Thank— thank you," he stammered awkwardly, and felt his ears get hot— this was not how friends were supposed to be—

But her cheeks were pink too, and she was still smiling at him. He smiled back, and pivoted on his knees to begin his work.

Scars were not like wounds. Wounds were where death threatened. Scars were where the body remembered. He couldn't erase the memory, only change it. He had to open it again, carefully, gently, slowly. Examine it, learn it, know it. Smooth out all the angry edges, knit the pieces together again, in whatever way they fit now. Close it up again. A memory still, the body knew where it had been cut open, but now it knew too where it had been put together.

Rhen laughed softly when it was over, and rested her head on his shoulder, and he felt like he was being split open in all the places he'd tried so desperately to close himself off.

Having a friend was like…




(The End, on to the next one)


Getting A Place

This piece happens at Lord Gavin's summer ball in Sedona. A lot of other writers assume only Rhen goes to the ball because only Rhen buys clothes for it. I think this is reasonable, but I decided to have them all go for plot purposes and because of this line from Lord Pemberlin: "I am trying to sell my manor. Would you young nobles be interested?" 

Yes I am too obsessed with Aveyond thank you for asking

She wanted a manor because it would be cheaper than staying at inns all the time (she just wanted a place to call home, a place that fit this new Rhen she was getting to know). They needed a place to store all the stuff they were collecting (somewhere old memories wouldn't feel so heavy, somewhere new memories could be made without tying that strange guilty knot in her stomach). And— and she wanted to have pets.

So that's why she was at Lord Gavin's summer ball in a stiff, itchy green dress that clashed horribly with her hair, trying to find a noble name Pemberlin who, for all she could tell, had dropped off the face of Aia sometime that morning. The rest of her party was supposed to be helping her, but Elini was busy convincing a group of single noblemen that they weren't her type. Lars and Dameon had left to find some stupid truffles for the chef. And Te'ijal was somewhere, hopefully not terrorizing any children or anything, but Rhen really didn't know, honestly.

She glanced around the ballroom for a man who looked like he was trying to sell something, but all she could find were frenzied maids and nobles dressed in ridiculously bright colors swirling about to the tempo of a minuet. She was going to have to ask someone. She caught sight of a woman who looked unoccupied, and approached her.

"Hello," Rhen said.

The woman smiled. "Hello! Isn't the ball wonderful?"

"Er— I suppose so," Rhen said reluctantly. "Have you seen—"

"Have you seen the two young men who just entered? Nobody knows who they are! They must be from some far away kingdom!"


"You should come with me to welcome them!"

"Well, actually I was wondering if you knew—"

"Oh, don't be shy! Come, come!"

"Oh!" Rhen said as the woman took her arm and dragged her towards the dining room, where Elini was still talking to those same noblemen. Why did these things always happen to her? Well, maybe one of the young men would know Pemberlin. It was possible.

"Welcome to the ball!" the lady said, stopping in front of...

Lars and Dameon. "I am Lady Lomone! And this is—" she turned to Rhen expectantly.

"Hi guys," Rhen said, turning red. Lars snickered, but Dameon took her hand and kissed it.

"It is a pleasure to meet you," he said, smiling and making her cheeks feel hot.

Lady Lomone took a moment to look surprised and confused, but she quickly grinned and offered her own hand to Lars. "It seems Lady Higuys and your friend are already getting along very well. Perhaps we could do the same?"

Lars stopped laughing and stared at her. "What— I— perhaps," he said, drawing himself up. "But you are to understand that I will not be teased, flattered, or cajoled into anything— hey!"

The lady had taken his arm and was dragging him to the ballroom, laughing and smiling and most definitely teasing and flattering and cajoling.

"That was... interesting," Dameon said as they disappeared into the crowd of dancing nobles. "Where did you meet her?"

Rhen grunted and pressed her face into his sleeve. He patted her back consolingly.

"Did you find Lord Pemberlin?"

"No!" she said, looking up at him now. "I can't find anyone at this stinking ball! And this dress is so scratchy and hot!"

"I'm sorry," he said, frowning. "Would you like to go outside for a moment?"

"No," she said, and pouted. "I want to buy a manor."

He smiled gently. "I have never met anyone as determined as you."

She looked down again. "Well— thanks."

He held out his hand. "Come on, we'll find Pemberlin together."

And they did. It turned out Pemberlin was walking around near the back of the ballroom, talking about his manor to anyone who would listen— and Rhen and Dameon were very willing to listen. He sold the house to them for 5000 gold, which used to seem an unfathomable price to Rhen, highway robbery, she would have called it before. But now she agreed to the price without even attempting to haggle. If Elini had been there, they might have spent a bit less, but it was worth it to Rhen. She had a manor now, she had a place!

"I'm just so excited!" she was telling Dameon as they went back towards the dining room to try the truffles that were now being offered. And he was nodding and smiling at her, and the lights in the ballroom seemed brighter than before and the music was like an enchantment—

And then suddenly he wasn't beside her anymore, he had stopped cold, staring straight ahead with wide brown eyes.

"Are... are you all right?" Rhen asked, turning her head half-looking to find the cause of his distress.

He hesitated. "I— I know this waltz," he said slowly. "My... parents... used to— used to—" he shook his head. "I'd rather... It's not important."

His eyes were shining and his voice was shaking, just slightly. Rhen touched his elbow. "Hey," she said. "I'm your friend. You can talk to me."

He looked at her and then at the ground. "It's just— they— my parents— used to dance to this. In the Tear Shrine. And they seemed... so... happy. We used to be... happy. We used to— it—" He seemed to choke and he hid his face in his hands.

"Hey," she soothed, rubbing his arm, "hey. It's okay. I understand. My family used to be— happy— too."

She was surprised to hear herself say it. Her family was still happy... wasn't it? Mostly? Except for her, perhaps. She didn't fit exactly where she used to. Everything was different now, and— and—

"Dameon," she said, moving his hands and taking hold of his face. "Dameon, let's find a way to be happy now. Why don't we make new memories? Why— why don't you dance with me?"

He looked at her with his brown eyes— still shining— and nodded once. "Okay."

He put his hand on her waist, and she rested hers on his shoulder, and slowly they began to move across the floor.

"I— haven't waltzed much before," he said shyly, watching their feet.

"Me neither," she said. "But I think it goes— two, three— three— or one— Well," she smiled up at him, "you just move your feet and I'll follow."

And that's what they did. She took a moment to hear the music. It was slow and sweet, not at all familiar to her, but it sounded like it came from some little town somewhere in the world. There was something magical about it, like maybe a fairy or an elf had played it once. Like maybe it was as old as the trees. Like maybe—

But Dameon was smiling down at her, and his dark eyes were sparkling with something that wasn't tears this time, and she didn't care where the music came from as long as it kept coming. She didn't care, for a moment, about how everything used to be, because it had all brought her here and this was something she was going to remember. She didn't feel guilty or out of place. She didn't have a sword on her back or a shield on her arm, but Dameon's hand rested lightly at her side and her feet moved with his and she was safe.

And she was happy.

Edited by Mu11berry
added a oneshot

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Happy new year everyone!! I'm excited to share this next piece cuz it has some Te'ijalxGalahad too :D

Covey Balm

This piece happens soon after the party purchases the manor in Sedona and after Galahad has officially joined the group as Rhen's champion (so the assassin thief quest is already completed). It happens before/during most of the in-game manor conversations we see between the characters. You'll see, it should be pretty obvious. Enjoy! (Or suffer from the excessive sweetness, whichever!)

Her first mistake was letting Galahad accompany the party in the first place. After all, she didn't really need anything from the king's treasury. Her only excuse was that she tended to be impulsive, and somebody should have stopped her. Also, she had thought she'd seen Te'ijal nod at her. So either she was crazy, or Te'ijal was crazy.

Her second mistake was asking the paladin to train with her in the practice yard. She'd had to take down quite few orcs before he would accept her as a capable opponent, and this should have been a warning to her, but no. She had been stubborn, and now she was paying for it.

Her third mistake was well well

She really, really hadn't meant to hurt the paladin but he was so arrogant! He'd gone on and on about protecting her from who knew what, and how she should pay more attention when sparringand not show off so much

And she guessed she'd gotten a little carried away, or a lot, because now Galahad was on the ground hollering for a healer, and she was frantically trying to wrap his bleeding leg with a cloth the yardmaster had handed her, but she had never been very good at this

"Please, maiden! Get a healer!" Galahad yelled again, but Dameon was out buying supplies with Lars, and she couldn't carry the paladin, not in all his armor

"Galahad, please be calm" she tried to say soothingly, like Dameon would, but she didn't have his quiet composure, she couldn't even soothe herself

"I require medical attention!"

"I know, I'm trying"

"What is going on over here?" snapped a voice from somewhere behind her, and then, before Rhen could look to see who it was, another, milder voice was saying

"Rhen, what happened?"

It was Lars and Dameon the latter was shoving the packages he was carrying into Lars' hands, and then running toward her, and she felt relieved and very, very embarrassed

"Er I" she tried to explain, and Lars interrupted

"You wounded him, didn't you?"

"I not on purpose!"

Dameon knelt beside her "It's okay, Rhen," he said in that absurdly patient voice she was growing to depend on. "We can fix this."

"Sun Priest!" Galahad said, seizing Dameon's hands. "I beg your assistance, though I am not worthy"

"Don't worry, Sir Galahad," Dameon said soothingly, pulling his hands back, taking the cloth from Rhen. "You are going to be fine."

"Thank you" Galahad grunted, while Dameon folded the cloth and wrapped it expertly around the paladin's wound, and Rhen wondered why couldn't she ever get that knot right?

"I need to clean this before I can do any healing," Dameon was saying. "We'll have to carry him back to the manor. Rhen, can you"

"He's too heavy," Rhen said miserably. "I can't lift him."

Dameon looked at her with a confused little frown, and Lars snorted, "You can both carry him."

She felt her face turn red, and managed a somewhat dignified, "Oh."

Dameon's fingers brushed her arm and he smiled reassuringly. "Can you get his legs?"

Rhen nodded and moved to lift Galahad's knees while Dameon lifted his torso.

"Careful, please" Galahad gasped.

"Sorry," Rhen mumbled when it came to wounds, she was entirely and perfectly useless. She was probably going to end up making it worse. Lars should be helping with this, he was better at it

Dameon glanced at her and then down at Galahad. "You're doing fine," he said, and Rhen wasn't sure if he was talking to Galahad or to her, but Galahad looked less anxious and she felt less flustered.

Lars led the way to the manor, shouting "Out of the way!" at anyone who even looked towards them, and snapping directions at Dameon like, "Left! Left! There's a gate," and, "Step up! Don't you remember the stair?"

Elini and Te'ijal were standing in the hallway inside, and Rhen could just barely see their gaping faces over Dameon's shoulder.

"What happened?" Te'ijal asked, stepping around Elini to hover over Galahad

"Stay away from me, dark creature!" Galahad yelled, twisting violently and almost kicking Rhen in the face.

"You're bleeding!" Te'ijal said, ignoring the knight's protests. "You smell intoxicating"

"Not now, Te'ijal," Dameon interrupted, stepping farther into the manor and moving so that he was between the vampress and the paladin which put Rhen against the far wall. "I need to clean his wound"

"Why don't you come and get water with me?" Elini suggested, gingerly taking Te'ijal's arm to lead her towards the door.

To everyone's relief, but most especially to Galahad's, Te'ijal followed Elini, and turned back only long enough to say, "Don't let him bleed out, humans. His heartbeat is like a frightened rabbit's."

Lars rolled his eyes. "Yeah, we won't," he yelled after them. Then, looking at Dameon, "I guess I can get rags. Try not to run into the door frame, Sun Priest."

Dameon sighed and said to the sorcerer's retreating back, "Of course, Lars."

"Vile, wicked woman" Galahad was muttering. "Horrid, unfeeling"

Rhen thought she saw Dameon flash her a half-smile, but then he was saying "Don't worry, Galahad, you're not going to bleed out," and he was craning his neck to look behind himself and stepping backwards down the hall towards the room designated as Galahad's.

He only almost hit his head on the door frame. They managed to maneuver through it, and then laid the paladin on the bed. Dameon started undoing the bandage and Rhen stood there uselessly for a minute, watching his nimble fingers working at the knot. He was frowning in concentration, and the sunlight streaming through the window glinted off his headband and blinded her for an eternity or at least a very bewildering thirty seconds. Then he shifted and she could see again, and she noticed how the sun also made his face glow and scattered gold flecks through his eyes, and it was really sort of... lovely. A stray lock of hair fell into his face, and Rhen reached out to brush it away

He looked up at her, lips parted in surprise, and she quickly drew her hand away again, embarrassed.

"Er... I was just trying to... help," she explained feebly.

He looked back down and nodded, and she thought his hands seemed more clumsy than just a moment before.

Galahad grunted. "Covey balm would help"

"Oh okay," Rhen said. "Er... I can... get that." She tried not to run from the room but she basically did, and she shut the door behind her with a click that was nearly a bang. Her heart was beating fast like a frightened rabbit's, Te'ijal would say and her face felt hot, she just knew it was red, bright red

Covey balm, she was supposed to find covey balm. She started down the hall and wondered when it had gotten so hot inside, and why it was so difficult to get a breath Galahad hadn't been that heavyand she couldn't stop seeing Dameon's surprised face, glowing in the light from the window

"Good day, sword singer," Elini greeted, and Rhen whirled around to face her. "You look like you've been spending too much time in the sun," the summoner said with a wink, and then turned into Galahad's room carrying the bucket of water she'd gotten for Dameon

Too much time in the sun, what was that supposed to mean? Unless...

She was definitely reading too much into this. Elini just meant she looked sunburned, and she probably did. And it wasn't time to think about this right now, she needed to get covey balm.

Where did they keep covey balm, anyway? On the Eastern Isle she'd always had some in her pack, but with Dameon there well, she hadn't used a tin of covey balm in a while. Maybe maybe there was some in Dameon's pack?

She slapped her forehead because she was so dense sometimes, and headed down the hall and turned in to Dameon's room.

He always kept everything so tidy. She didn't know how he kept up with it. Her own room was sometimes tidy, but usually not so much. But his room the bed was made and the covers were even turned down, like at the fancier inns they stopped at. His stuff was neatly placed on the shelves, and his laundry was folded nicely in a corner. She didn't mean to think it, but it occurred to her how weird it was that somebody who kept his room in such an orderly state could have a quarrel with his mother.

She found his pack on the lowest shelf and looked through it, trying not to pry too much but noticing that he kept mostly healing items in it. Cassia leaves, marsh tea, tinctura hypericum and really, wasn't it strange how somebody so attentive to everyone else's injuries could be so hostile towards the woman who'd raised him?

She tried not to think about their fight; it wasn't any of her business. But it clearly bothered him. She remembered the last time they went to Aveyond. She had seen how his face changed when his mother came in sight it hadn't glowed then and she'd heard the bitterness in his voice when he asked how he could forgive the person who'd killed his father.

If someone had taken Rhen's Pa she would she would end them, of course. There would be no one left to be angry at.

But would it help, in the long run? Vengeance couldn't bring back the dead. Anger had no healing power. Anger, she guessed, was the one thing Dameon kept with himself that wasn't curative. And she couldn't help but think as her fingers finally closed around a tin of covey balm that a grudge like that must be a painful thing to carry around. She wished she knew a way to fix it.

She tried to put everything back neatly, and hurried back towards Galahad's room with the covey balm. But as she got there, the door swung open and Lars stepped out. He smirked at her, as usual, as he closed the door behind him. And then he frowned, which was different.

He cleared his throat. "I... I wanted to apologize for being so horrible to you."

Her first response, which she suppressed, was to laugh. Because it was funny to think of Lars Tenebor apologizing for anything. And her second response was to feel... the opposite of bitter. It was like some old weight she had forgotten she carried was gone. She guessed she forgave him she'd lived, hadn't she? And it was over now, and it was all right to stop hanging on to it and to move forward.

So instead of laughing, she smiled, and said, "Thank you Lars," and she thought that if anger was a hurt, then forgiveness must be the balm.

Lars nodded and stepped around her to head towards the library, and she pushed Galahad's door open and entered the room.

Dameon had found a chair somewhere, and was sitting on it while pressing wet cloths to Galahad's wound. His hair had fallen into his face again, and one stubborn little piece stayed in his eyes even when he looked up at her. She wanted to brush it away, and as she came up by the chair her hand twitched at her side but she stopped herself, and said, "Er I brought the covey balm."

Dameon took it from her with a soft smile, which made her blush (or was it the other way around?), and Galahad said exuberantly, "Thank you, maiden! I will repay your kindness as soon as I am able."

She'd have liked to roll her eyes, but... it was her fault the paladin was injured in the first place, and if he was overbearing and pompous he was also gallant in his own stupid way. And anyway she couldn't stay irritated when Dameon was smiling and looking so peaceful, so instead she said, "That's all right, Galahad. I'm... sorry I got carried away earlier."

Galahad nodded self-importantly and said, "I should not have underestimated you. You are a skilled swordswoman, and it is an honor to defend you as your champion."

"Er" she almost said whatever, but she saw Dameon glance up at her and she thought of his mother, and instead she said, "thank you, Galahad."

She didn't even choke on the words. They weren't even hard to say. They were almost nice, in a way

The door banged against the wall suddenly and Te'ijal was by the bed before Rhen could move to stop her

"Naughty, naughty lambchop," the vampress was saying, "getting yourself injured. You know, this wouldn't happen so easily if you would just let me bite you"

"STAY AWAY FROM ME, DEMON SPAWN" Galahad squealed, batting at her with his arms

"Please be careful," Dameon stood up, trying to shield Galahad's wound from Te'ijal and from Galahad and being effortlessly thwarted by both of them "I haven't finished yet"

"Come here, duckling!"


"Darling rabbit!"

"Not now" Dameon tried to interrupt, but they weren't listening and he had to dance around the chair to avoid being caught in the middle of them


"You look so tasty when you're disagreeable! Come now, let me bite you"

"Te'ijal!" Rhen said sharply, surprising herself by sounding just like Ma. "You promised not to bite any of us!"

Te'ijal turned to face her and pouted. "But he provokes me!"

"You promised," Rhen repeated stubbornly. Then, "You can tease Galahad later. Why don't you come check out the junk shop with me?"

Dameon and Galahad looked very relieved at this idea, but Te'ijal just laughed. "You humans truly are amusing! You have so little time to live, and spend all of it running silly errands and avoiding excitement."

"Are you coming?" Rhen said, standing now at the door.

Te'ijal chuckled. "Very well, I suppose I can postpone my flirtations a little longer." She looked sharply at Galahad and the paladin turned very pink. "Heal up soon, duckling. I will be back."

And indeed, she was back very soon. Rhen tried to distract her with the new shipment of stuff that had arrived in the junk shop the glass bottle, the book page with strange, ancient-looking writing that she thought maybe Te'ijal would recognize but Te'ijal just pouted and complained that nothing like the soul pendant had come in.

Rhen tried to convince the vampress to shop for new weapons with her. Te'ijal shrugged and pointed at her rapier.

Rhen tried shopping for weapons anyway. Te'ijal spent the whole time terrorizing the shop owner.

Rhen suggested fighting orcs. Te'ijal yawned.

Rhen was out of ideas, and she was getting hungry, and besides, the sun was starting to set, so she at last consented to go back to the manor

Te'ijal took off running before Rhen could begin to regret her decision, and Rhen walked the rest of the way alone.

She could smell the stew as she approached the door. She hadn't liked stew as a child; it was squishy and all the meat and vegetables were mixed in together instead of kept neatly separate. But lately she was always hungry and she ate everything, and liked everything especially the things she didn’t have to cook.

By the time she got to the dining room with her bowl of stew, Te'ijal was already chasing Galahad around the table. Apparently Galahad's leg was feeling much better. Rhen rolled her eyes as she pulled out a chair for herself. Those two never got tired of yelling at each other, it seemed, and it was weird, and disturbing, and sort of cute, in a way.

At least, it might be cute if she wasn't trying to eat!

Elini and Lars were also seated at the table, arguing over which term Galahad used most often to express his feelings for Te'ijal. Elini was betting on creature of the night, but Lars insisted it was serpent spawn, and together they were determined that there would be no rest in the manor until the matter had been settled.

"If it's serpent spawn, you owe me fifty gold!"

"Hmm. We shall see, Northerner."


Elini grinned. "One more for me."

Lars scowled. "Hmph!"

"Come here, Galahad!"


"Ha!" Lars exulted, pounding the table and almost making Rhen spill her stew.

Elini frowned. "That makes it even again."

Rhen swallowed a potato. "I think he uses both terms about the same."

Lars rolled his eyes. "That's what Dameon said."

Rhen stuffed her mouth with bits of carrot and beef and tried not to blush. "Where is he, anyway?"

"It's impolite to talk with your mouth full," Elini scolded. Then, "He went to the drawing room, to read."

"ABOMINABLE CREATURE!" Galahad shrieked, and Elini smiled again.

"Doesn't count," Lars said firmly. Elini pouted.

Rhen swallowed down the rest of her stew and pushed her chair away from the table (and almost tripped Galahad, but he yelled and dodged around her which was a remarkable feat for someone who insisted on wearing so much armor all the time). She hurried to the kitchen, dumped her dishes in the sink, and made her way back towards the drawing room.

She wanted to talk to Dameon. About... everything. The day had been so strange and long. She had a lot to think about and she knew he would listen to her. She hardly listened to herself when she got like this; she could be so darn obnoxious. But he listened, and seemed to understand her. He even remembered what she said. And that was nice.

Dameon was in the drawing room, like Elini had said, but he wasn't reading. His book was balanced precariously on the edge of his lap and he was slumped over on the arm of the couch, snoring softly. Rhen tried to squash the disappointment she felt rising up in her. He'd had a long day, healing Galahad and, most likely, making dinner, and he deserved some rest.

Still, how he could sleep, with Galahad and everyone yelling in the dining room, was a mystery to her.

But... he really looked very child-like. His solemnity was stripped from him and he was left with just a quiet sort of vulnerability. His hair was in his face and it moved with his breathing or his snoring, very slow and soft.

She would talk to him tomorrow. She turned to leave the room

"Stop" he mumbled suddenly.

She looked back at him but he was still sleeping. "Dameon?"

"Not the carrots"

She almost laughed except that he looked really, truly alarmed about the carrots; it was clearly a serious matter to him

"It's a fish," he trilled, and knocked the book off his lap. It crashed onto the floor, and Rhen had to laugh, and laugh

His eyes flew open and he leaped to his feet. "What" he stammered blearily, and he blinked very rapidly, and stared at her, and turned pink. "What are you laughing about?"

"You just" she cackled, and tried to calm herself, but he was so mortified, and and a fish?

"Dameon" she managed. She touched his elbow to comfort him, and found that doing so calmed her laughter, until she could explain, in a very dignified voice, "You talk in your sleep."

He looked at the ground. "Oh."

"It's all right. You were tired," she soothed. "Come on, why don't you sit back down?" she continued, pulling him back to the couch. "Have you eaten?"

He gaped at her like he wasn't sure what language to reply in, and managed, "Yes stew."

She sat him on the couch and plopped down beside him. "Good."

He was looking at her, and the vulnerability hadn't quite left his face yet, and maybe that's why she blurted, with no introduction or anything, "Thank you for helping me with Galahad today. He can be... difficult."

He looked away and tried to appear unaffected but she noticed that his ears were pink, and it took him a moment to reply. "It was nice of you to apologize to him. I don't know if I would have."

Now she tried to seem unaffected, but she could hear the squeak in her voice. "Well, it was just... Lars apologized to me earlier."

She was going to stop there, but Dameon smiled softly at her, and she continued. "I felt a lot better, and... freer. I don't know if that makes any sense, but And I thought Galahad could maybe feel that way, too. And, Dameon" she stopped. She couldn't bring up his mother now, while he was watching her so trustingly, and mildly. Tomorrow, when he was more rested, maybe, more prepared...

"What is it?" he urged quietly. She blinked and tried to smile. That one lock of hair was in his face again and she balled her hands into fists.

"I I am still hungry," she said, and it wasn't a lie. "Would you like to raid the kitchen for desserts?"

He started to laugh, but before the sound was quite out of his mouth they heard Galahad scream, even more loudly than usual. "ENOUGH OF THIS, SERPENT SPAWN! I AM GOING TO BED!"

They heard him tear down the hall, and slam his door, and then

There was a loud crash, and Galahad yelled something unintelligible and angry

Rhen looked at Dameon, and found that he was very, very red.

He cleared his throat. "I guess I forgot to move that chair..."

Rhen laughed. "Come on," she said, pulling him to his feet, "we better go check that he's all right."

He let her help him up and then pulled his hands away not before she noticed how they were shaking. "Yes," he said. "I suppose we should bring the covey balm."

"Yeah. I guess that would be good."

So they did, and it was lucky they thought of it before because they never would have gotten around Te'ijal to apply it otherwise, and Galahad would have been miserable all night, and would have complained about it probably for the next decade at least.

By the time they were finished helping the paladin, again, Rhen was asleep on her feet everyone was, really. But Dameon let her lean on him and he walked her to her room, and when he looked down at her to whisper a timid, "Goodnight, Rhen," the lock of hair fell into his face again. And Rhen thought, honestly, Te'ijal was right, her life was too short for this, so she pushed his hair back and kissed his silly, pink ear.

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Okay hello, I just read this all at once, so I'm going to comment all at once! My apologies, because it's significantly long. I just really enjoyed reading this fic!

Confounded) this is a really nice intro! My favorite part was the contrast between how Dameon views his parents, with all the positive associations with his father (like being charismatic) and negative ones with his mother.

A Matter of Preference) I love the splinters making summoning on Elini, I adore worldbuilding/magic detail in fics. Lars “apparently feeling he had made great sacrifice in doing so” is SO good and in character. I really like Rhen’s sense of responsibility and I snickered at Dameon’s bad joke. Also I really loved the description “her eyes were so purple, violently purple”, like Dameon feels personally attacked by their intensity or something.

A Hairy Problem) Oh dang, I feel bad about Rhen being stuck in a sling for multiple reasons. I loved how you described her frustration with it. I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE LINE “You have been promoted, Dameon!” – I’m a huge fan of meaningful/deliberate name usage, and that phrasing is fantastic.

Retreat!) “And anyone who thought otherwise would be subjected to an unpleasant conversation with her blade.” I LOVE THIS. I love her running to visit Peter, too – I love when fics delve deeper into her life in Clearwater and flesh it out by referencing or creating friendships. I feel really bad for her when she starts to realize everyone else’s lives have continued on in really normal way and it helps hit home how absolutely wild and ridiculous this quest she’s on is, when it feels totally normal for the player in-game. “Which made him smile, which made her smile” is so so sweet. Oh my gosh, Rhen taking Dameon sheep-chasing was so unexpected and so genuinely charming.

In The Dark) Oh gosh, the opening about Dameon’s father is sad. I liked the way you humanized him and portrayed him as like, a regular dad instead of a lofty druid, because of course he wouldn’t be to Dameon. “Only Dameon had mourned” oh my gosh this line is just heartbreaking. This scene was so sweet and touching and heartfelt, it’s my favorite so far.

Night Watch) “But he had a soft voice and she just felt soothed” is such a nice description, I’m really loving all the parts that focus equally on characterization and their relationship development. The constellations were such a nice touch! I love that you changed what they are for based on in-game lore, it’s lovely worldbuilding.

At a Loss) This one was really tense and you got Dameon’s emotions across really well. My favorite part, and the most striking bit of it to me, was that last line about Rhen being someone he could lose. It marks such a turning point in their relationship so succinctly in a way that suits Dameon’s character well.

A Little Help) The “I told you so” bit is so good ahdgshhss. I like how Dameon has to think hard about this and for Rhen, it’s hard to place a logical reason. It’s a good contrast.

Getting A Place) Oh GOSH I love Rhen’s reasoning for the house and the idea of her trying to find herself. A part of me very much wanted to give Dameon a hug a bit, in this one. The waltz scene is lovely and I ADORE the magical description of the music.

Covey Balm) Oh my god I was grinning even wider with every single line in the opening. I love Rhen and Galahad’s frenemy/friendship situation and this was fantastic. I ADORE Te’ijal’s maybe-concern-probably-just-hunger, shdhshs. I love the kind of like romantic “eternity” contrasted with the far more realistic “bewildering thirty seconds”. “Anger… was the one thing that Dameon kept with himself that wasn’t curative” is SUCH a good line, omg. I love that. I really like your Te’ijal and Galahad. I WANT AN ANIMATED MONTAGE OF RHEN’S ATTEMPTS AT DISTRACTING TE’IJAL. Lars and Elini taking bets on Galahad’s insults is fantastic. This was the most fun chapter for me for sure, I really love how you incorporate the full party while focusing on R/D.

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Heyy! No need to apologize, comments on my stories are pretty much my favorite thing, especially when it's this story haha. So thanks for taking the time to say something!

I am now going to respond to all your comments like the obnoxious person I am because it is Aveyond and I must rant, so I'm sorry.

Confounded- Thank you!! I wrote this after a lot of the other pieces and I was worried about it's status as the intro to new readers, you're the first to comment on it as a first piece and I'm so relieved it works. Also you caught the dichotomy! Yayy!! It's important later >.> Probably you already knew that but. I must rant.

Matter of Preference- Aahh thanks. I have probably too much fun with the worldbuilding, and with making Lars Lars-ish. Aand I definitely have too much fun with Dameon's bad jokes. I have this stupid headcanon that he got his sense of humor from the Oracle, since Talia wouldn't be able to be around that often (stuck in the Dreamworld), and I don't picture his father as a particularly funny guy. Rhen is my hero, honestly, so I'm really happy you appreciated that part <3 And I am SO GLAD you liked the violently purple description, sometime I worry it comes across as too much, whereas it's supposed yes, a little dramatic, but also a little funny and endearing, I guess. And it sounds like that came across sorta so yayy

Hairy Problem- I FEEL BAD FOR HER TOO I'm so glad you understand. And thanks, that line was so fun to write!

Retreat!- Also loved writing that line hehe. Honestly Rhen is a blast every time, she's pretty much my favorite forever. And I feel like a lot of times all the stuff she's been through and sacrificed gets a bit overlooked so I'm glad I could bring it out a little. And I'm glad you liked the sweet parts, thanks! I wanted to incorporate a bit of Rhen's childhood so I'm glad it worked.

In the Dark- I'm always overjoyed when people like this piece because it's one of my favorites too. I just feel like both Rhen and Dameon have been through a lot and they have a lot to process, and their situations are similar enough that they can understand each other but different enough to be able to learn from each other and I'm sorry I am ranting again but I just really love them. I'm also really glad you liked the humanizing of Dameon's father, that's a recurring theme too (which again, you probably already guessed but xD). I just think there are important lessons in the idea that sometimes people we love do bad things, and we still love them after. 

Night Watch- Aah thank you, I really love writing those parts. And I had a lot of fun coming up with the constellations!! I actually scoured the web trying to see if anybody else had referenced stars in their Aveyond stuff but there wasn't much ahaha

At a Loss- Thanks! I'm really glad the turning point came across well and that you're appreciating my portrayal of Dameon

Getting a Place- THANK YOU, again I just feel like she's dealt with a lot and the idea of home is important to her so I'm glad I could get that idea across a bit. Dameon probably needs a hug honestly, but don't worry, Rhen'll take care of him hehe sorry I'm like this

Covey Balm- Thank you!! I'm glad you like the sillier pieces too because there a lot of them haha.  Te'ijal are Galahad are another of my favorites so it means a lot to me when people like how I portray them, so thanks. The "eternity... bewildering thirty seconds" bit was lots of fun to write, like I've said about a million times, Rhen is my favorite. And the anger line was another one I tend to worry about so I'm glad it came across well!! I think it's an important theme in their story and in the Aveyond plots in general. I WANT A MONTAGE TOO!! Actually a whole movie. Of the game, not my shorts, though I wouldn't mind having some more fluff and silly things thrown in and I would not object if this whole oneshot collection was shamelessly plagiarized for the purpose, haha. And I love looking at all the party interactions. Most of these oneshots focus mostly on R/D because, like it says in the title, it's literally just fluffy R/D oneshots, but I never object when the others barge in XD 

So again, thanks for your comments and for giving me so much to rant about!! And P.S. also I love the new profile pic

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Aaa, I'm glad to hear it! You're welcome!

Confounded) Ooo, glad to be a test reader for the new system! I definitely think it came across well.

Matter of Preference) Oh my goodness I LOVE the idea of Dameon getting his sense of humor from the Oracle, that's real cute and charming. I definitely think that came across!

Retreat!) I definitely agree, I love when fics acknowledge all she's had to deal with & I think you've done a really good job of it in this fic.

Covey Balm) You're welcome!! They're my favorite characters Ever so I really love when I find fic that does them well. YEAH the anger line definitely came across super well! shdhshdhs I would definitely not object to a movie in general, or including some of these scenes. If only... Absolutely! I came here expecting R/D (and you have absolutely delivered), but it's fun to see how the rest of the party is incorporated so seamlessly

Of course!! Thank you for the wonderful fanfic! (Aaaaa thank you so much! It's a crop from a piece of te'ijalahad fanart I drew - one of these days I'll set up an art thread on here.)

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