Jump to content
Aveyond Studios Community
Mu11berry

In Pieces (RxD oneshots)

Recommended Posts

@darwin Thank you so much, and aaahhhh please set up an art thread I need more te'ijalahad in my liiiife

@the world Here is another update, and it is titled very accurately just so you know XD XD (also coincidentally this is the oneshot where the idea of Dameon getting his sense of humor from the Oracle first occurred to me so there's that)

(not related to anything but this collection is so so close to being done on fanfic.net and I don't know whether I'm really excited or really sad)

Cheese

So I have the lamest sense of humor ever and have been wanting to call a piece “Cheese,” or something similar, for a while. So yay me. Most of this was written a long time ago, then scrapped because it’s kind of sillier than the other pieces so I’m not sure it fits really. But… there were some good jokes, and some touching parts, and I figure we can always do with more Aveyond fanficton. So I finished it up and yeah, here you go! 

Occurs some time, but not a ton of time, after the party has purchased the manor and recruited Galahad.

 ________________________________________________

All the best cheeses, she had been told, required a lengthy aging process. It started with milk, and then some crazy cheese-maker did some fancy, unpleasant sounding stuff involving knives and fire and tight spaces, and then the used-to-be-milk was thrown somewhere cold and wet and left to fend for itself, sometimes for years. Sometimes even for decades.

And then it became cheese, and the citizens of Sedona worshipped it.

Rhen herself wasn't so keen on cheese. It was all right, she guessed, but she'd rather have meat. Or dessert, dessert would be good. But there were no paintings of dessert in Frederick's art gallery.

She was only even in Frederick's art gallery because he had sent her a dang invitation to a dang special exhibition of his latest acquisition, Man in Hot Water. And he had only invited her on account of her having been the one to bring him Theodore's picture in the first place. It was all exceptionally stupid and Rhen would much rather be in the manor, or sparring in the practice yard. But Elini had told her it would be rude to refuse, and Galahad had looked ready to give her one of his horribly long lectures, and besides, even though Dameon hadn't said anything, she could tell he was interested. So she accepted the dang invitation, and had even made attempts to dress nicely which was a mistake because the pale red-definitely-not-pink gown she had chosen was sweaty and itchy.

And the art was droll. The gallery mostly consisted of cheese paintings, of course. Cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, every kind of cheese in Aia. People dressed in colorful, silly looking clothes clustered around these paintings, pointing out a detail of a piece of swiss or loudly proclaiming that what their neighbor thought was gouda was actually feta. Why was this city so obsessed with cheese? No wonder Frederick had been so excited about the creepy stick figure.

Besides that, Rhen saw a few flower paintings. There was one of marion bells that held her attention for a bit. She liked the details of the leaves and the blending of the colors. Okay, really she just liked marion bells, and it was sentimental and stupid—

"This one is charming."

Rhen started and turned to see Dameon standing beside her, smiling up at the marion bell painting. His smile was charming and she wished he would stop it because now her gown felt stuffy and stiff and her voice was going to squeak when she spoke, she just knew it.

"Yes," she managed in relatively even tones, fixing her eyes on one of the pink petals. "It is."

"It is decidedly less cheesy than the others."

It was the lamest joke she had ever heard, but she was laughing at it and she couldn't stop, and it was very embarrassing. And she knew her face was red now, and she wanted to hide it somewhere, but the only place she could think of was Dameon's chest and she was absolutely, definitely, most assuredly not going to do that—

Great, now she was choking on her own spit. She tried to apologize but the words came out more like, "Ack— sah— ree," and she was coughing horribly—

Dameon took her in his arms and patted her back until she could breathe again. "I'm sorry, I didn't think it was that funny...."

"Er— it wasn't," she said, pulling away from him and looking hard at the painting again. "I don't know why I was laughing like that." Then she grinned in spite of herself. "It was a pretty cheesy joke, actually."

"Hmm," he said, the corners of his mouth curving up, just a little. "Well, your reaction was pretty charming."

She laughed— a normal amount this time— and only blushed a little, and endeavored to change the subject. "What's your favorite painting so far?"

"I... am not sure," he said slowly. Then he smiled again, and turned pink like the marion bell, and couldn't seem to stop himself from saying, "The gouda one was particularly good."

Rhen was mortified to find that she was laughing again. It must be just the unexpectedness of it, the incongruity of his serious mouth spouting such nonsense. That was it, that must be it—

"Sorry, Rhen," he said, patting her back again because she was choking again. "I don't know why I keep doing that..."

When she had recovered she said, "It's all right. Just don't make a habit of it—"

"You young people really must quiet down," an older woman interrupted scoldingly, pointing at them with her enormous spectacles. "Art is to be looked at, not laughed at!"

Unfortunately this assertion only caused Rhen to laugh again. Dameon beamed at her, which didn't help, and then he offered her his elbow, which did, and he made his apologies to the old lady and led Rhen into the next room.

Besides more cheese paintings, there were some portraits of nobles, all dressed more ridiculously than the nobles walking through the gallery, if that were possible. Te'ijal and Elini were standing in front of a portrait of a duchess whose dress was poofy enough to hold seven other people, and whose hair was piled so high that Rhen found herself wondering what she was hiding in it. 

Seeing her interest, Dameon walked with her to the portrait, and Te'ijal and Elini turned to greet them.

"Good day, Sword Singer, Sun Priest," Elini inclined her head towards them.

"Look at this woman!" Te'ijal said, foregoing formalities as usual. "Look what she has in her hair! She could stake me with one of those!" 

Rhen looked and saw that there were long, sharp wooden pins holding the woman's hair in place. "Wow!" she said, as quietly as she could manage. "She could stake me with one of those!"

"And look at her dress!" Elini said. "It's big enough and stiff enough to knock over an army." 

"Or hide an army!" Rhen added.                                             

Dameon was examining the portrait with his eyebrows drawn together. "But..." he began slowly, apparently very concerned, "how does she move?"

Rhen, Elini, and Te'ijal laughed, which made Dameon turn red, and that made Rhen feel sorry. So with an effort, she caught her breath, and said, "If she's anything like me, she probably doesn't."

"Even couldn't wear that," Elini said. "In Veldt, clothing is light, durable, and flexible. We don't see any good reason for this stiff, bulky Northern nonsense."

"I imagine could wear it," Te'ijal said, and shrugged. "But it would rustle so much Galahad would hear me coming from a mile away."

Dameon grinned, and Rhen's stomach fluttered and she laughed. Then she blushed when she saw Elini’s knowing look, and she stopped abruptly and said, "Let's go see what else Frederick's got around here."

What else Frederick had around there was a mirror, which Lars was standing in front of, apparently trying to adjust his cloak. Te'ijal grinned suddenly and pulled Dameon away from Rhen, motioning for them to be quiet with a finger pressed to her mouth.

Te'ijal stopped behind Lars, placing Dameon behind her self, and she leaned towards Lars so her nose almost touched the back of his head. Dameon looked at Rhen and shrugged, and Lars sighed loudly and said, "Dameon, do you mind? You're in my ligh— AUGH! TE'IJAL," he screamed, having turned around to find the vampress directly behind him. "GET OUT OF MY SPACE! I'LL FRY YOU WITH MAGIC!" 

He was holding his staff to do it, but Te'ijal just cackled, and that was when Rhen remembered that vampires have no reflection. Elini laughed, and Rhen laughed, and Dameon smiled, and Lars settled for using his staff to push Te'ijal away and to smack Dameon in the arm.

"You young people again!" a familiar raspy voice scolded, and Rhen turned to see the old lady with the big spectacles. "Art is not funny!" 

"Mind your own business, you old hag—" Lars began, but Dameon interrupted him with another apology to the elderly lady, and pushed Lars on to the next painting in the gallery. Rhen hurried to catch up, and Elini and Te'ijal shrugged and followed her.

"How amusing," Te'ijal said. "More cheese."

"Didn't you hear the woman?" Rhen teased. "Art is not funny!"

And then, Rhen had her revenge, because now Dameon was laughing at a joke that wasn't funny, and for a second the mirth even sparkled in his eyes and Rhen felt it in her toes, too—

But no one else was laughing, and he stopped quickly and blushed and cleared his throat. 

Lars rolled his eyes. "You all are what's not funny."

Rhen opened her mouth to make some retort— probably along the lines of whatever— but Elini grabbed her shoulder and pointed across the room.

Rhen looked and saw Galahad standing and staring out a window very intently. This didn't seem that strange so she glanced at Elini, and followed the demon summoner's gaze until she saw Te'ijal sneaking through the crowd towards the paladin.

Rhen sighed. "Come on, we better go intervene."

Dameon looked at her in confusion but followed her when she took his arm. Elini waved and mouthed, "Good luck," and Lars pulled out his garlic necklace and meandered back towards the mirror.

"What are we doing?" Dameon asked, glancing around, looking for something amiss.

"We have to make sure Te'ijal doesn't eat Galahad," Rhen explained, not bothering to point because the vampress was already halfway to the paladin.

Galahad turned and bowed his head towards them as they came up. "Good afternoon, sun priest. Good day, sword singer."

"Good afternoon," Dameon said, and Rhen added a quick, "Hello," and glanced back to see where Te'ijal was. The vampress had seen them approaching the paladin and was sulking in front of a brie painting, but still making her way towards them, slowly, slowly.

"So realistic, isn't it?" Galahad was saying, gesturing at the window. "You can almost smell the city just looking at it."

"Er— yeah," Rhen said reluctantly, deciding against telling Galahad that he was actually looking at a window. She knew from unfortunate experience that he would vehemently deny it against all reason, even if she were to stick her arm out the window. Even if she stood outside it. Even if anything.

"It's— quite nice," Dameon said, following her lead. Then, "Have you seen the one of a stickman boiling in a cauldron?"

Galahad looked appalled. "No, no, of course not. I am surprised you would say such a ghastly thing! Surely that is not a real painting!"

But before Dameon could answer, Te'ijal was upon them. "Duckling!" she greeted with much enthusiasm, and Galahad screamed.

"Creature of the night! Why do you torment me?"

"If you young people do not quiet down—" the bespectacled old lady began, before gaping at Galahad and Te'ijal. "Oh, I'm sorry, Sir Galahad! I did not realize that was you— I thought it was—" she stared at Rhen and Dameon, and started to point but thought better of it, "Um— uh— have you seen the featured piece, sir? Man in Hot Water? Quite original, I assure you. It's just in the next room. I could give you a tour, if you'd like—"

"Lady, cease your blathering," Galahad said, standing erect even though Te'ijal was playing with his hair now. "Speeches are best made concise and clear. There is no need for all this— insufferable— insensate— demonic— devil woman, get out of my hair!" he roared, whirling on the vampress. Te'ijal only laughed and reached for his nose. Galahad sprang backwards, nearly knocking over a very shocked and muddled spectacle-wearing old lady, and he turned and ran from the gallery with Te'ijal at his heels.

"What— well!" the old lady said, drawing herself up. She looked sharply at Rhen. "At least you seem to have ceased your senseless laughter!" 

Rhen flushed angrily. It was an unfair thing to say, it was unnecessary, and embarrassing—

"That— that was my fault," Dameon said quickly, stepping in front of her. "And I think her laugh is lovely."

He turned and smiled at her and she flushed for a different reason and looked at her boots. The old lady sniffed and turned away from them, waving her enormous spectacles in the air dismissively.

"Come on," Dameon said, pulling Rhen towards the next room, "let's go see the rest of Frederick's collection."

"Well, all right," Rhen said, trying to ignore how warm her face felt. "I didn't get to look at Theodore's piece yet."

Dameon grinned and escorted her to where Man in Hot Water hung. There was a cluster of rich people around it, having a heated discussion. Lars' voice shouted over some of the others. "The artist is not a noble! He's a child from New Witchwood!"

"That' ridiculous!" one of the men countered. "Only the gifted and monetarily endowed get into the Gentle Children's school!"

"You're ridiculous!" Lars argued. "Theodore doesn't have to be a noble to be gifted and rich!"

It was such an incongruous thing to hear that Rhen laughed.

Dameon looked at her in confusion. "What is funny?"

She shook her head and explained, "It's funny how people change."

He stared at her, and there was no laughter in his eyes. He cleared his throat and looked at the ground. "I suppose sometimes it is."

She wasn't sure what, exactly, he was thinking, or how she was supposed to respond to that, so she ended up tucking his hair behind his ear, and saying, "I'm glad you haven't changed."

But it was the wrong thing to say. He stepped away from her, still staring at the ground, and said, so lowly she almost didn't hear, "I am changing every day. Everything changes."

She narrowed her eyes at him. "What's the matter, Dameon?"

He tried to smile, but it wasn't convincing. "Why don't we go see what other treasures Frederick has collected?"

"Hmm. I'll bet you one million gold pennies that nearly everything else is cheese."

But he didn't laugh. He just walked on towards the next painting.

And it was cheese, and so was the next one. Mozzarella and ricotta and parmesan. There was one of some moldy, unrecognizable cheese that had apparently been painted by a gnome, and the lady standing in front of it assured Rhen that it was "Priceless! Priceless!"

But Rhen would much have preferred another stupid joke.

Dameon was stopped in front of a smaller painting, one with a brown block-looking thing in the middle. Brunost?

No, it actually wasn't cheese, for once. It was a neat little house, sitting tranquilly on top of a hill, with the door hanging open like it didn't know how to close, and light pouring out of it as if to say, come in. It was nowhere she had been, but it was somehow familiar to her.

"Do you remember," Dameon began quietly, "when home looked like that?"

Clearwater had never looked like that. Well, not exactly like that. The houses in Clearwater were made of white stones, and they rested on plateaus. But... she remembered the way their windows used to glow at sunset, calling all the children to come inside. She remembered being one of the children. But that was before— before it all changed. Before she had changed.

Dameon was looking up at the painting, like if he stared long enough he could make it real, he could bring it back. He had been a child once, she realized. He hadn't chased sheep, or picked marion bells, but— he had lost something, too. 

He had been very reserved when she first met him, even stiff. And now—

"Dameon," she said, and reached for his elbow. "Not all change is bad. Sometimes— sometimes things get better."

Now, finally, he looked at her, but she could tell he didn't believe her.

Well. Maybe he was more serious than her, but she was definitely more stubborn. So she took another step closer, and said, with all the solemnity her soul possessed, "Milk can change into cheese, you know. And then the people in this city paint it, and hang it on their walls, and worship it.”

He stared at her and she tried to look serious, and then one little corner of his mouth curved upwards. "They are fools."

"They are," she agreed. And then she confided, quickly, before she could lose her nerve, "But I think I am, too."

He frowned again. "No," he said, and now he stepped closer, the tiniest bit. "No, you are just— you are—" he seemed to search for the word and she wondered what sort of horrid thing he was about to reveal about her, stubborn, clumsy, childish

And then he finished, very slowly and softly, "You are wise."

She turned the color of one of those confounded apples from Clearwater, and she looked at the ground and had to clear her throat twice before she could stammer, "Well— you're just— cheesy."

He laughed so hard that she thought he would suffocate, and now she got to pat his back. And then the bespectacled old lady kicked them out of the gallery, so they had to wait outside for everyone else, and everyone else took forever

But it was okay, because when he had caught his breath he leaned towards her, and his eyes sparkled with the secret he was about to tell her. "I know at least one thing that won't change," he said, and then, slowly and solemnly, he pressed his lips to her forehead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soo. I was actually working on a new piece to share on Valentine's day, but due to unfortunate and foreseeable circumstances (called school), I didn't have time to finish it. But I do have this other piece which chronologically comes next anyway and I didn't write it anytime close to Valentine's day, but it is fluffy and little so here ya go. Happy Valentine's day everyone :heart::heart:

Something to Remember

Rhen is remembering the conversation she and Dameon had after she talked to Danny in Sedona.

Happens after Rhen and co. have left Sedona but before they can battle Indra. They have to do a lot of running back and forth quests to get to Indra (at least they did the way I played), so this happens during one of those.

_____________________________________________________

They had stopped to eat lunch, and she found herself lost in her thoughts. She wasn't even thinking anything important. She had so many weighty things to consider, but her mind always returned to this one silly little conversation.

"I think he likes you, sword singer."

The words hadn't produced the usual fluttery feeling in her stomach. She'd tried to shrug it off.

"You may be right."

She remembered the little frown that formed at this, and how oddly it had struck her.

"He is too short for you and his nose is too long."

What a strange thing to say! Something tangled, and confused, and happy, and a little childish, had risen up in her. She could feel it now, too, and she smiled widely but discretely.

"Why, Dameon! Are you... jealous?!"

His eyes had widened and his face had flushed.

"Jealous! Me?!"

His tone had said of course not, but his face had said yes, and here was where she usually got stuck, replaying his words and his expression over in her mind, wondering which was the truth.

"Jealous! Me?!"

Of course not, Rhen. I am the druid of light. I have more important things to think about then some silly, reckless girl who can't cook her own dinner or take care of her own injuries. How ridiculous.

But the blush! It had been immediate and deep. And the beautiful, almost vulnerable look in his usually guarded eyes.

Yes, Rhen. I couldn't tell you before but I like you. That's why I stammer so often and smile when I see you. Doesn't it make sense?

And she wanted to say it did, but she was afraid she was wrong.

"Rhen?"

She looked up and blushed because there he was, as if he had stepped right out of her head. His eyes seemed darker every time she looked at them.

"What is wrong, Rhen?"

She scuffed her feet on the ground, trying to ignore the trembling feeling in her legs. "Nothing."

"Are you sure?"

She nodded miserably.

"Oh," he said, as if he was going to say more, but he didn't. After an awkward pause she became aware of a nervous sort of air about him. His hands were folded behind his back, and he kept glancing at her and quickly looking away again, sometimes half-opening his mouth like he might lean forward and no, that was silly.

"Um... Rhen?"

"Yes, Dameon?" She tried to sound casual but her voice came out squeakily.

He cleared his throat in a clumsy sort of way, and produced something from behind his back. "This flower was growing out of a rock, over there," he gestured vaguely. She looked but could hardly see anything, she could only comprehend the sound of her pulse pounding in her ears and the earnest tone of his voice. "And it reminded me of you, because it was so stubborn, and" he cleared his throat again. "That isn't really what I meant. I mean um here." He took her hand and put the flower in it, his face burning, and then he hurried away before she could gather her wits enough to blink.

It was just a stupid little white daisy, but she knew she'd remember it forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

why am i like this?

actually just wrote this one because i can't write in chronological order for my life.

have fun.

Return

Okay so, just so you know the ocean between the Arishta Isles is called the Eldredth, I’m not making this up I promise, it’s on the world map and also that one lady with the ring says it.

Like the last one, this lil RhenxDameon piece happens between the back-and-forth miniquests that happen before the party can face Indra in the Snow Queen’s basement. Probably on some beach somewhere near Sedona. (and yes, there are beaches, I promise XD)

_____________________________________________

The ocean whispered.

It rustled and sighed against the shore, and Rhen swore she knew the words it used. It murmured in the ancient language of nature, a language every creature knew but none understood. At least, Rhen couldn’t make any sense of it. She wished she could.

When she was a young and restless child, she thought she could understand the babbling of the brook that ran through Clearwater. She had spent hundreds of summer afternoons barefoot on its banks, cooling her toes in its crystal flow, caking her knees in mud, sometimes catching little fish. Her Pa always cheered about the fish. Ma always sighed at the mud. And Rhen laughed with the stream— that’s what the bouncing, clear sounds it made were. Laughter.

The last time they had passed through Clearwater she sat down by the brook and tried to hear it again. Dameon had found her there— it was only a matter of time, there were only so many places to explore in Clearwater. She patted the ground beside her and he sat and she told him about the laughter and he tilted his head at her, and his hair had fallen to the side so she could see both of his eyes, dark like the deepest parts of the river and wide like the sky.

“Can you hear it laughing?” she had asked before she could stop herself.

She had expected he would laugh, but instead he closed his eyes and listened and she held her breath and didn’t know why.

When he opened his eyes again he had to shake his head— no, he couldn’t hear the laughter. Rhen had looked down at the forever flowing brook, tumbling down the easiest paths, paths worn smooth by centuries of movement, and she’d managed a smile.

“Me neither.”

It was always moving and it had finally moved without her.

Of course, the brook couldn't really laugh. It was just water. And so was the ocean— in this case, a lot of water, and sand, and fish, and— if the tales were to be believed, which they were if Rhen had learned anything on this crazy quest— sirens and mermaids.

Maybe they knew what the sea sighed about. Rhen only knew that it sighed, and that the sun was bright and warm, and the breeze was playful and really it was just too beautiful a day to not completely and utterly waste. So here she was, on the beach, completely and utterly wasting it.

Everyone had stowed away their armor in their bags. Rhen wasn’t wearing her boots or her sword or her shield and she had forgotten how it felt to be able to move.

The ocean moved, too, but not like the brook. It always came back to itself, gathering its long stretches of blue up into great arching waves and then tumbling down to the beach again and starting over, time after time. It was predictable, but never the same. It was wild and free and unconquerable.

She knew sometimes the ocean roared, she had heard it during violent storms, and sailors had told her how it swallowed whole ships down into its unknowable depths. Perhaps that should have made her nervous. But Rhen, too, could bring destruction. She was trained in violence, she knew how to be fierce. It was not the roaring that moved her.

It was— something in the way the sea and the shore ran to each other, over and over, leaving bits of themselves strewn across the other, starfish and seashells and unending sand— it meant something, she just didn’t know what.

She stood nearly waist-deep in the middle of all of it, watching the way the water rocked gently on the horizon, feeling it rush past her, pulling her in with it. She watched waves form and held her breath as they sped towards her, whispering in that ancient language she wished she understood.

And the wave crashed against her, swallowing her whole like one of those ill-fated ships, uprooting her feet from the shifting sands and carrying her with it, not deterred in the least from its intended course. She spat out salt water and gasped for breath and found herself crashing onto the beach with all the seaweed and sediment— and the last of the wild wave was rolling back into the sea with a mournful sigh.

She stared after it, feeling winded and disoriented and— exhilarated, and another wave was already rising in the distance, the sand on the beach was rolling past her to meet it, and she scrambled to her feet to chase the retreating shore back into the deep blue.

The second wave came with the same fresh energy as the first, and she met it with a laugh that almost felt like the one she had learned from the brook. She was crashing and falling but she was not fighting, the ocean was fierce but it was not a warrior, it crashed and fell with her and it always, always returned her to the beach with that same soft murmur.

It was so different from the brook, and the swamps. The swamps smothered wildness, everything was stagnant there.

The last time they had passed through a swamp had been New Witchwood. It oozed with icky gooey green and slippery slime thanks to the Sludgemaster 2000— why had she ever given it to the witches? The muck stuck to her boots the same way it had to her bare feet in Ghalarah, trying to hold her down— at least she had boots now.

Again it had been Dameon who found her. It was only a matter of time, she had been walking more slowly because of the mud and one by one the others had all passed her. Dameon was always last. He had smiled at her as he caught up, and she’d scowled and yanked her boots free and the mud pfft’d derisively and she declared, before she could think, “I hate that sound! I feel like it’s mocking me.”

“I’m sorry. That’s awful,” he had said, with his brow furrowed and his lips turned down in that serious little way he had.

Rhen usually felt scrutinized when people frowned at her, but that frown made her feel— silly and trembly and—

Seen.

She had then promptly stepped in another muck puddle and gotten stuck again, and Dameon had given her his arm and helped her pull herself out and she had pfft’d back at the mud and they caught up to the others and she— she couldn’t remember if she’d actually let go of his arm or not. Why couldn’t she remember?

She found she hadn’t been paying attention when suddenly another wave swallowed her, she kicked her legs, and her face found the sun and she gasped and laughed, more thrilled than before because she hadn’t expected it, she rolled and tumbled with the sea and landed on the beach again.

“Be more careful, maiden!” Galahad yelled as she surfaced. Saltwater dripped from the end of her nose and her braid and she spat some out of her mouth, and waved at him to prove she was just fine. He waved back, and resolutely ignored the vampress sitting next to him. Te’ijal didn’t seem to mind, she was busy digging a hole— with her fingernails, of course. She could already fit her whole arm into it.

A bit farther up the beach, Elini was making a castle out of wet sand which she had made Lars dig up with the shovel. Apparently neither of them had been willing to follow Te’ijal’s example.

Even from the surf, Rhen could hear Galahad scoffing at the idea of trying to make anything out of something as transient as sand, but Elini just smiled and smoothed out the walls. It was a beautiful castle, even if the tide would wash it out to sea in a matter of hours.

It would just be another thing that the ocean and the beach shared between them, sighing and shifting and returning again.

Dameon was walking in the between-space, picking up shells left by the surf and sometimes keeping them and sometimes tossing them back into the waves. Didn’t he know they would just be washed back up? Rhen knew, from personal first-hand experience, everything came back to the between-space.

She turned to return to the ocean but was interrupted by an outraged yelp and she whirled around to see that Te’ijal’s arm and shoulder were now completely buried in the hole she had made and her hand had broken through the sand and come out right next to— Galahad’s hand.

“Let go, you— you! Devious creature! Release me!”

Te’ijal just laughed and tried to tug his hand under the sand with hers. Rhen shook her head and sighed, the vampress was predictable and crazy. And Rhen might have done something about it, but the surf tickled her toes and sighed too, and instead she ran back into the ocean with it.

Over and over she ran after the sea and over and over it carried her back to the beach and— she laughed every time.

She watched breathlessly as each wave forming on the horizon, rocking the entire ocean in its quest to be. She squealed and grinned as it crashed into her, intent on its destination and happy to take her on the ride. And she landed on the beach with everything else that rode the wave, and she— loved it, there was something important about that space between the world and the mighty Eldredth.

It was only a matter of time— that is, she should have predicted it, there was only so much shore for her to get washed up on and she had been washed up a hundred times in a hundred different places at least— so it was bound to happen, as certain as the ocean was bound to kiss the shore again, and again—

Still, somehow she was surprised when she was deposited once more on the beach with all the shells and instead of just the sigh of the waves she heard a low laugh next to her, and she looked up to see— to see—

“Hi, Dameon,” she squeaked, quickly standing and trying to brush the sand off— it was futile, the sand was everywhere.

“Hi, Rhen,” he said, with the same mildness of the surf rolling back into the sea. “Have you been listening to the ocean?”

She felt herself turning red and decided to pretend she was just sunburned. “Yes. Have you?”

He smiled that stupid smile that made her stupid stomach trembly, and said, “Yes. But I’m afraid I don’t understand it.”

“Me neither!” she said, and found that somehow she had leaned forward and was staring up into dark round eyes— she quickly pulled away again and smoothed out her braid. Not that it did any good, the saltwater had made a mess of it.

“What do you have there?” she asked, pointing at what he was twisting in his hands.

He held it up for her to see and its smooth white surface glinted in the sun— a seashell. “Just this,” he said. “It sounds the same as the ocean when you—” he turned red suddenly, and looked away— “when you put your ear up to it.”

She took it from him, careful not to brush her clumsy fingers against his graceful ones, and she held it beside her head on one side and plugged her ear on the other.

And then— she couldn’t help the dopey grin that spread across her face. “It does sound like the ocean!”

Dameon was staring hard at the sand, and his dark eyes darted up to meet hers and quickly looked down again, eyelashes fluttering over them.

His eyes spoke the same language the sea did when it whispered, soft and fierce and somehow sad.

She hesitated, and thought of the crashing waves and blurted, “I— I think I know what the sea is saying.”

He looked fully at her now, dark eyes wide.

“It’s saying— it’s saying— er— here,” she thrust the shell at him and held it against his ear, which was stupid because he was practically standing in the ocean so it’s not like he needed it to hear what she did. He looked startled at first and he flinched away but then—

He closed his eyes, and leaned towards her again, and mouthed the words she had been waiting to understand.

I will return to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Scrivener of the Gods Thanks!! I wouldn't have thought this was really your style of story so I'm very flattered

 

EDIT: So as per usual I cannot write in chronological order, but by a fantastic stroke of luck I have this random post right where this oneshot is supposed to go chronologically, so without further ado, here's a fluff I wrote while working on a more dramatic one that comes (much) later:

__________________________________ 

Chocolate

A soft fluff I wrote while writing one of the more angsty ones. Inspired by a prompt on tumblr which unfortunately I can’t find again; if you find who made it, I’d love to know:) ALSO, one of the descriptions is inspired by Ishti's gift exchange fics for me, so thank you 1000000x to Ishti!

Happens before Rhen and co. show the fairy to the mountain king.

___________________________________

They were in Thornkeep. They had a fairy, finally, and they were going to show the Mountain King. But… tomorrow. It was getting dark, it was cold, and they were tired and hungry. Very hungry. The poor tavern keeper had probably definitely never served so much food in one night in her life— but she was very gracious, the people of Thornkeep always were, and Rhen was allowed to eat until she was full.

She had left Dameon in charge of the money, because she knew he would pay fairly. She had learned from experience that Te'ijal would pay every penny in the pouch if she wasn't watched carefully, and Galahad and Lars would be stingy.

Rhen might have trusted Elini with the gold, but Elini was playing some sort of card game with the regular patrons. Cards seemed to be somehow involved, anyway, but there was also a lot of yelling and leaning across the entire oaken table and wildly flailing arms about, and once or twice Rhen could have sworn she saw some cards flying through the air. Galahad and Lars were watching this boisterous game, Galahad with a disapproving scowl, and Lars with narrow, attentive eyes.

Te'ijal was amusing herself with catching the moths flitting around the dimly lit lanterns, harmless for once.

Rhen sat alone at a table in a corner by the fire, finishing off her soup. It was so warm, and she was still so cold. It had been cold in Clearwater, sometimes, but never like this. The Ice Queen never did anything halfway, it would seem.

Rhen tilted the bowl up and drank the last of the broth— it was sunshine going down her throat and warming the pit of her stomach. She sighed happily and let the bowl clatter back down onto the table.

That’s when Dameon got back from paying. She waved at him as he approached and he hesitated and then reached to pull out the chair beside her.

“Hi, Dameon,” she said, as he sat down.

“Hi, Rhen,” he returned, with a soft smile. He put the money pouch and another smaller pouch he had bought from the tavern keeper down on the table. “Are you enjoying yourself?”

She nodded happily; her belly was full and warm, her fingers were finally thawing in the heat of the fire on the hearth, and now— her cheeks were warm too.

“I don’t really like the snow,” she said, “but the people here are nice. And the soup is amazing.”

He nodded. “The people of Thornkeep like to say their town is memorable for four c’s: cold, company, chocolate, and soup.”

“Oh,” she said, and scrunched her eyebrows together. “But... there are no c’s in soup.”

He laughed gently, which made her smile. “No, there aren't. My father used to say they should add a fifth one: obstinacy.”

She grinned, and leaned forward on her elbows, and said in a low, conspiring voice for just him to hear, “The ice queen would approve.” And then she laughed, and Dameon laughed again, and that table, in that corner by the fire, was the warmest place in all of Thornkeep.

And the laughter quieted, and they were left with wide smiles, and eyes reflecting soft firelight— and an absolute uproar from Elini’s table, which had something to do with the two of hearts.

Rhen sighed. “Do you think they ever sleep around here?”

Dameon shrugged. “I haven’t been here very often,” he said. And then, with a softened sort of look about his eyes, “Are you tired?”

She nodded sleepily, and he propped an elbow on the table and leaned forward. “Would you like a kiss?”

And now cold was the farthest thing from her mind, her face was burning, and her throat was hot, and her voice squeaked when she said, before she could think, “Yes!”

Dameon blinked at her, his lips parted slightly, and instead of leaning any further forward he reached into the small pouch he had bought and held a little chocolate drop out towards her.

If she hadn't been blushing before, she was now. “I— I mean yes,” she stammered. “I just— er, I really, really love chocolate— um, thanks…”

She took the chocolate from him and stared at it a moment. She had never had chocolate in her life; Jenna had, once, when her parents had taken her to a fair in Sedona. She had declared it to be divine, but she hadn’t brought any back to Clearwater. And of course Rhen had seen it in shops since this quest began, but it always seemed a frivolous purchase— and now— how was she supposed to eat it?

Dameon looked away, and his dark eyelashes fluttered and glowed gently in the firelight, and then—

His lips brushed her forehead, so fleetingly and softly she almost didn't believe it had happened, except for the warmth just above her temple and the shy tenderness in his chocolate eyes.

He cleared his throat nervously, and said, in his low, honey-milk voice, “It is quite good, especially in Thornkeep.”

And then he smiled, a melty soft sort of smile that made her chest warm, and the chocolate drop was a gooey mess in her hands—

But it was still delicious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Scrivener of the Gods Haha sorry, I meant your reading style. But thanks!

 

@world Here's another piece because of how I am

________________________________________________________

Cold Encounter, Warm Heart

My friend came up with the title, isn't it so cute? :D

Daena is one of my favorite druids (I guess because she's purple? Also wisdom is cool) so I featured her here. The conversation Dameon is remembering is the one that occurs when you make Dameon the party leader and talk to Rhen in Sedona. (And said conversation is in italics btw)


"I think you have a good heart, Dameon."

That's what she'd told him in Sedona, and it kept coming back to him now, while Indra threw her spells at them. His magical shields were not going to hold out, he kept repairing them and healing whoever had been hit by Indra's ice magic, but he was running out of mana fast. They were out of restoratives, they were out of everything, and Indra's attacks just kept coming

"I think you have a good heart, Dameon."

What was that, a good heart? Did it matter? What good could a heart do in a world that was cruel and unforgiving? And how could his heart, which could not forgive, be good? Why would she say that

The barriers around Rhen were breaking again and he frantically tried to mend them, but he couldn't do anymore, his mana reserves were empty. Indra's icy eyes met his and she laughed, she knew that Rhen was defenseless now. She raised her arms to cast her fury.

Rhen could take it. She could take anything, because she was determined and tough

But she shouldn't have to. That's the last thing Dameon thought before he shoved her out of the way.

Indra's spell hit him and he crumpled to the ground. He wasn't strong like Rhen, the spell was already sapping his strength, leaving ice in his bones.

"You fool!" Indra shrieked. "Traitorous wretch! You will pay!" She raised her arms again and all Dameon could think of was that talk in Sedona, “Do you think you will ever forgive your mother for killing your father?”

No, no because he would die first—

“I think you have a good heart, Dameon.”

Whatever that meant, if it meant anything—

But Rhen yelled and thrust her sword through the demon, Indra screamed and disintegrated, she was gone. Te'ijal was picking up Daena's soul and Galahad was taking it from her

"Dameon, are you all right?"

Rhen was kneeling next to him, pulling his head onto her lap. He didn't know what to tell her. He was cold and getting colder—

"I'm—fine—Rhen," he shivered.

"Can you stand?"

He let her help him up but he couldn't feel his legs, or his chest, and he collapsed against her—

"I think you have a good heart, Dameon."

"Rhen"

She was saying something to him but he couldn't understand her, everything was muddled and cold.

"Help me"

Rhen pulled him onto her back and he wrapped his arms around her neck. He clung tightly to her, because she was warm. Because she was the only stable thing he knew. She carried him through the ice caverns, and everything but the bright purple of her hair slowly faded. He was numb, he couldn’t feel his own breathing. The only real thing was her sturdy back. Then… then…

It was dark… and voices…

"Sun priest. Sun priest! Wake up."

"Mmm"

"I know. You must get up. There is much work to do."

He opened his eyes slowly. Everything ached, and it was too bright. He blinked and tried to understand his surroundings. He was lying on a mat. Everything was white and purple; he must be at the Moon Temple. He looked up at his caretaker—

"Daena?"

The Druid of Wisdom smiled knowingly. "I suppose I am not who you were hoping to see."

He blushed and cleared his throat. "Where—"

"I sent everyone outside because they couldn't keep quiet," she said briskly. "Now, up with you. There is much work to do."

He sat up and the room tilted. He squinted and held his head in his hands to soothe the dizziness

"You seem to have caused the chosen one considerable distress. I suggest you talk with her."

She spoke so quickly, his spinning head couldn't keep up. "What—what am I to tell her?

Daena looked at him sternly. "The truth is always best." Then she stood. "Come, now. We must get to Aveyond before it is too late."

Dameon pushed himself to his feet (his legs were working now, at least) and followed Daena out of the room.

Elini was sitting on the stairs in the main room of the temple. Te'ijal crouched above her, knotting the demon summoner's hair into some sort of elaborate updo. Galahad watched with a disapproving frown, and Lars sat nearby reading one of his spellbooks. The sorcerer looked up and smirked at Dameon.

"Good morning, sleeping beauty."

Elini turned her head towards him. "Sun Priest, I am glad you are feeling better."

"Welcome back to the world of the living," Te'ijal added, and Galahad bowed respectfully. Dameon tried to appear grateful for their attention, but but

"Where is Rhen?"

They all looked at him and frowned.

"Where where is she?"

"Calm down," Lars said, turning back to his book, "she just went to train on some ice slimes."

Dameon all but ran from the temple, she shouldn't be fighting so soon after the battle with Indra

He slipped on the ice outside, scrambled to his feet and tried to hurry across the bridge, but something hit his chest and he fell again

"What are you doing up?"

"Rhen"

"You should still be resting!"

"Rhen, you are injured!" Her arm was bleeding. He stood up quickly and reached towards her to try a healing spell

"No!" she said violently, pushing his hands away. "You don't have the strength for this right now! You can't do everything, Dameon, sometimes you have to just stay back, and let me handle it! I can take care of myself!"

"Rhen" he began, not sure what he wanted to say. He was flustered, why was she yelling at him?

"Why didn't you let that spell hit me?" she demanded, her violet eyes piercing him through. "I could've taken it! It should've been me on the ground after the battle. It should've been me in there with Daena. Why couldn't you just let me take the hit?!"

"I I"

"You thought I wouldn't be able to handle it?!"

"No! Rhen, I"

"Then why, Dameon! Why"

"Because I care about you!"

She stared at him. He would have stared at himself, if he could. But there it was, there was the terrifying truth.

She turned away. "I couldn't do anything to help you. I failed you."

"No," he said quickly, taking her hand. "No. Rhen, you got me to Daena. You saved me in more ways than you know. Please," he squeezed her hand because he was afraid, suddenly, that she would disappear, like everything stable did "let me help you. It is good for me to help you. I..." he swallowed, and said it again. "I care about you."

She looked back at him, and her eyes were soft now, and his chest was tight. She breathed in deeply and blew her bangs out of her face, and put her free hand over his.

"I'm sorry for yelling," she said, and her face was pink. "I was just frightened because I care about you, too."

He smiled and felt so happy and terrified that he took both her hands and kissed them and blushed. She rested her head on his shoulder and let him heal her arm, and said quietly, "You have a good heart, Dameon."

And just then, he thought maybe he did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, tis I, totally updating again so soon. What I really want to do is share alllll the pieces right now but I am behaving myself. 

__________________________________________

Smiling Hurts

So Dameon has another important, albeit short, conversation with his mother around this time in the game, and I wanted to mention it cuz it's sort of a big deal for him and also for the plot and the whole beautiful point of the entire game so there you go.

After Rhen and co. bring Daena to Aveyond and do those other sidequests which happen there, they start sailing for the Southern Isle, cuz that's where the next daeva is not that they know that, but plot, man, plot... Anyway, they do know that the next druid is there. So.

And a tiny detail so you understand my lame jokes, Rhen only wears one earring. It’s true, look at her sprites. Can’t make this stuff up.


Dameon had volunteered to steer the ship that night, mostly because he knew he wouldn't sleep anyway. Te'ijal had laughed and said there was no need, she could easily do it. Galahad had scoffed and declared the responsibility should be his, not a druid's. Lars had rolled his eyes, Elini had shrugged. Rhen had smiled softly at him and, with a firm look at everyone else, said she wouldn't stop him.

So he was standing at the helm, while the ocean rolled the skudder gently and moonlight crowned the tops of the waves, and he wasn't paying near as much attention as he should be to what he was doing, because he was remembering.

They had brought Daena to Aveyond and he had seen his mother again. She always asked him the same question "Have you forgiven me yet?" as if the answer would ever change, could ever change

Yet it had changed. He had felt the familiar burn of anger and hurt, and his mouth had been opened to say what he had always said before. But then the burning was gone, and he'd just felt regret. Because he had lost his father? Or because his mother was estranged? Was he sorry for the vengeance he hadn't been able to take, or or for what he had done already?

"I... I don't know, mother."

She'd stared at him sadly, and then Rhen had taken his arm and quietly told him it was time to go, they still had a lot to do. The sword singer led him from the Temple, and he did not resist.

It was so easy to trust her, to depend on her. He didn't know how to trust someone, anyone, but he was doing it more every day. It was frightening, how she drew him in and took down his defenses, without even trying. Her smile made his throat tight and her eyes sent chills through him, strange, thrilling chills that left him feeling warm and broken wide open, the pieces that held him together scattered like so many fragments of glass, leaving him defenseless.

She made him open to everyone else, too. He laughed at Te'ijal's jokes, even when he was the only one. He argued with Lars, but only because he admired the sorcerer's intelligence. He respected Elini because she knew what she wanted. He even liked Galahad, because at least the man was consistent.

And and he had almost forgiven his mother, in that blind, bright moment. He didn't know if that was good or bad.

It was easier to doubt everyone. It was safer to be alone.

But Rhen

She made him smile without meaning to. He smiled when she blushed because she was genuine and charming. And when she'd insisted on helping those sick villagers in Dirkon, even though they were practically dead, even though they would never be able to return the favor, even though she hated, despised, and loathed rats (as she'd told him, several times) he'd had to smile, because it was such a sweet, innocent thing to do.

But he knew that she was not naive. She had been alone. She had been hurt and scorned and even betrayed, but she chose to help people anyway. That was the enchanting part, and the confounding part. It was the mystery, and it was changing him.

A breeze buffeted at the sails and he readjusted the helm, but still he was hardly paying attention.

Rhen had offered to help find Tiny, even after the fairy prince had told her she was clumsy. Technically, he had said humans were clumsy, but Rhen had taken it personally. Dameon had tried to reassure her that the fairy probably meant Vata, because Vata was old and slow, but Rhen had stayed mad for hours afterwards. Still, when the fairy prince offered a goose as a reward for her service ("A goose?" she had yelled, not quite angry but almost), she had thanked him. She'd done it so graciously, and awkwardly, and so Rhen-ly, that Dameon had involuntarily grinned at her, accidentally smiled, for the rest of the day, even when his cheeks got sore from it.

That hadn't taken long, because he wasn't used to smiling. He was used to scowling, and feeling angry and hurt

He heard the door to the lower deck creak open; it was probably Te'ijal, bored of the quiet below. He tried to look like he had been paying attention to the sea, and not getting lost in his head.

A slender hand wrapped around his arm and he meant to yelp but instead he just stiffened. He didn't turn around but he knew it was Rhen because she smelled like metal, and leather, and magic that was the only word he had for it and he couldn't remember how to inhale and everything felt warm why was she so close?

"Dameon," she said sleepily, "Te'ijal can't sleep any longer and she's keeping us all up. Can't you please" she paused to yawn, and Dameon looked down at her in time to see the crooked little her mouth made "Can't you please let her steer now?"

"Oh," was all he could manage at first, and then, after he had collected himself, "Of course."

"Good," she said, and gave him a drowsy, happy sort of smile. Then, dropping her head onto his shoulder, "Your robes are so soft."

And he smiled, without meaning to, again. "Rhen," he said, suddenly feeling brave, "can I can I ask you a question?"

"Mmhmm."

He took a deep breath, and asked something he had wondered since he met her. "Why do you wear only one earring?"

She looked up at him and shrugged. "Why do you only shave half your head?"

He smiled and even laughed, which still felt so new and strange and nice. "To annoy the Oracle, mostly."

"Oh," she said, and yawned again. "That's actually a pretty good reason."

Now he was grinning and he couldn’t stop. "I'm glad you think so."

She nodded in a lazy sort of way.

"I thought you were going to say something about your mother."

He stiffened to brace himself against the rage that he knew would tear its way to the surface in just a moment but it didn't come. He just felt lost.

"I was proud of you when you talked to her," she continued, in a sleepy little voice.

"Rhen, I I didn't forgive her," he reminded her. "I am still angry."

"I know," she said, patting his arm. "But you thought about it, and I know that was hard." She yawned, then tugged on his sleeve. "Come sleep now. I'm tired."

He let her lead him down to the sleeping quarters, and to his mat which she had already laid out. She helped him settle into it, and kissed his forehead with a soft, "Goodnight, Dameon," before leaving to crawl into her own sleeping mat. And it didn't make any sense, but he felt peaceful and safe, and he slept easily that night, and smiled all through it.

He knew, because, in the morning, his cheeks hurt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, boy! Real life has gotten very busy and I have gotten very behind, so it's been a while since I've commented - on the bright side I'm excited to have so much of this fic to read!

(Aaa, thank you!!! I would love to set up an art thread, I will this summer, I think.)

ALRIGHT here we go chapter by chapter!

Cheese: I’d like to begin with I love the description of not-milk being “left to fend for itself”. OH MY GOSH, the concept behind this chapter is hilarious and I love it. I’m so glad someone is talking about the fact that there are altogether far too many paintings of cheese in Sedona.

Aww, Rhen being touched by the marion bell painting is really sweet.

DAMEON’S RIDICULOUS JOKE, OH MY GOODNESS. Rhen’s inability to keep her cool throughout the ENTIRETY of the conversation is charming and adorable and funny in it and of itself.

I really liked Rhen and Te’ijal and Elini’s conversation about the silly duchess painting – especially the concept of hiding an army in a dress, pfft. You really got across their characters extremely well and conveyed how a lot of those old art pieces really do look kind of ridiculous.

Lars saying “You are all what’s not funny” made me FLAT OUT CACKLE, oh my god.

I absolutely entirely lost it at Galahad and the window oh m ygoodness. “Even if anything.” Was absolutely hilarious.

Dameon taking the blame was nice of him BUT SAYING RHEN’S LAUGH IS LOVELY WAS ACTUALLY REALLY CUTE AND SWEET, I’M SMILING

“He had lost something, too.” OH GOSH. I’M SO SAD. You did really well the tone shift here. I love how them looking at this painting and reminiscing kind of ties into how Rhen reacted to see the marion bell earlier in the night.

Something to Remember: Awwwh, this one was nice and sweet. I really like how you presented that conversation through Rhen’s perspective. The ending with the flower was super cute!

Return: Oh, gosh. This one has really lovely, beautiful imagery and sets such a melancholy tone. “It finally moved without her” was quite frankly a gut-wrenching line. I love how you write Rhen reflecting on her old life and lost childhood; it’s extremely well-done and compelling and really makes me feel for her. Also I love her connection to water and the sea in particular!

Again, you’re really good at tone shifts! A little ironic because the last one I complimented was happy to sad and this is vice versa. I love how Rhen cheers up and finds energy and joy in the sea, it’s such a charming, happy thing to read. I really like how her responses to water in the past and now in the present both show she’s changed a lot while fundamentally the same person. For instance, the specification of water as violent but so is she/the water isn’t violent now, when as a kid she didn’t even think of that.

The brief mud/sludge flashback with Dameon was real charming and cute!

I really like how you incorporated the whole party. Galahad checking up on her and Te’ijal burying herself in the sand and Elini and Lars building a castle together, aaaaaa. Also Dameon collecting shells is nice, I like how that shows a certain sense of detail? All of your characterizations in these little moments are perfect for them.

AND OH MY GOD I JUST GOT TO TE’IJAL GRABBING GALAHAD’S HAND AND I’M GIGGLING, this is even better than I thought it was for her and I already loved it!

Okay, ‘nother tone shift note: I love how we go from Rhen’s internal monologue as seeming quiet and pensive to her seeming way more excited and bubbly when talking to Dameon (ie, exclamation points). It’s super cute and speaks bounds to their relationship.

Cold Encounter, Warm Heart: GOSH DAMEON TAKING A HIT FOR RHEN IS A LOT. Oh gosh, gosh, I love him like potentially on the brink of death and all he can do is replay this big, identity, life changing conversation he had with her. “She was the only stable thing he knew” is so much on like, an emotional level. Ahhhh!

Bonus eee: Te’ijal and Galahad w/ the soul was an excellent touch! I always love the background party stuff. Te’ijal playing w/ Elini’s hair is adorable! I love Lars’s snark at Dameon; I like how you write their dynamic.

THEM ADMITTING THEY CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER IN CONTEXT OF THE CONCERN AND FREAKING OUT IS SO EMOTIONAL... I love big emotional stuff like that but I love how you still made this scene like, cautious and nervous and soft, it’s really sweet.

Smiling Hurts: DAMEON MAYBE BEGINNING TO CHANGE HIS MIND IS MAKING ME YELL!!! GOSH. I like how even now it’s still gradual and he doesn’t know for sure.

Dameon not knowing how to trust people and yet trusting Rhen is so emotional, I really love the way you write these two and the connection you give them. I love how she’s changed his perspective so much it expands to everyone else, and I love how he reflects on her and all the good she’s done and the happiness she’s brought him even if he doesn’t know how to respond to it and aaaaaaa

I really love Rhen smelling like metal and leather and magic. What a good combination for her, oh man.  

“Why do you only wear one earring?” “Why do you only shave half your head?” I LOVE THIS

THAT WAS SUCH A CUTE AND SWEET ENDING

TLDR; this fic is always super charming and sweet and I'm always happy to read it! thank you so much for continuing to share it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@darwinI understand that so much, I should definitely be doing homework buuut here I am >.>

(Yayy I'm even more excited for summer then)

(sorry I feel the need to respond to literally everything but this is how I am XD)

Cheese: Yes good, I am so glad you laughed at all the ridiculous jokes. And Lars XD He is me when I'm hungry. Galahad is one of my favorite parts so I'm glad you enjoyed it too! And just so you know I very much appreciate the jump from "I'M SMILING" to "I'M SO SAD," it's really nice to know the tone shift actually worked and also it warms my tiny heart when people gush about Rhen and Dameon to me <3

Something to Remember: Aah thank you!! 

Return: This one was written as part of a fanfic challenge from my sister and it was written mostly just for her to understand, so I was a bit nervous other people wouldn't connect to the imagery and story the same way she would so I'm really glad to read all of that! And of course it's always nice to hear people like my characterizations, and YES WHEN TE'IJAL GRABS GALAHAD'S HAND! I loved writing that part, I'm glad it made sense and was funny. And okay yes Rhen is the most precious and I'm so glad you caught on to all of that, thank you! 

Cold Encounter, Warm Heart: My reaction exactly, a lot of times these things just write themselves and I sit at the keyboard going "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH" so thank you for sharing in my feelings. Dameon is just argh. And I love Te'ijal and Galahad. And Te'ijal and Elini. And can I adopt all of them please. I'm also really glad you liked the cautious nervous soft stuff, it's a huge part of, just, them, and it's what I live and die for.

Smiling Hurts: Aaahhh me too, I always go through the conversation with his mom like 80 times when I play even though it's like 2 lines, it's one of my favorite parts of the series. Thank you for picking up on all of that, I just love these two. You would never believe how long I spent trying to decide what Rhen smelled like before it just kind of wrote itself, it just seemed so obvious after I finally stumbled on it. (Aaannnd now everyone knows what a nerd I am XD) THAT WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE JOKES OF ALL THE ONESHOTS so I'm really glad you liked it. AND THANK YOU.

And I definitely read all of that, haha but TLDR; Thank you 1000000X for all your compliments and for sharing in my feelings!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*disclaimer that I am of Dameon's opinion concerning Rhen's bravery but here ya go anyway*

Hiding

Rhen goes through a lot in the games, but because she keeps such a good attitude through it all I think people tend to forget or minimize it, so it was nice for me to write something that addressed her struggles in some small way. And also I wanted to look at why Rhen distrusts pirates so much in the game; I was originally going to have something with Pirate John but this piece happened instead. It's set when the party goes to the Veniara Isles. I had them stop for the night.


Rhen was curled up in the lower deck of the skudder, scowling and fuming and being angry at the world but mostly at herself.

She had yelled at everyone. They hadn't even done anything. She just didn't like the way the Sour Ale Tavern smelled; like sweat and mold and three months without a bath, like that ship, the one that took her away from everything she knew. And she didn't like the pirates, or the way they leered at her. She didn't know who had sailed that ship, but they'd looked like pirates, and they had leered the same way. She hated them, and she hated the pirates in that stupid tavern

And it was no excuse, but that's why she'd blown up at Elini when the summoner nudged her and nodded appreciatively towards one of the criminals, like he was worth looking at, like he had ever done anything that wasn't despicable

Lars had tried to tell her she was being ridiculous she was being ridiculous, but she'd yelled at him anyway. And she'd yelled at Galahad when he tried to tell her to behave more like a lady and at Te'ijal, for no reason other than that she was standing there. The vampress had just stared at her, smiling like it was amusing. It wasn't funny. There was nothing funny about piracy, or violence, or or or slavery

And all this time she had watched out of the corner of her eye as Dameon slowly approached her, wearing one of his little frowns, and finally he'd said her name and she'd whirled on him she didn't need his judgement too, after everything else she just wanted someone to be on her side and she'd yelled and yelled

She didn't know what she'd said. She just remembered the baffled look on his face as he apologized for nothing, and way he stammered, "It it's all right, Rhen," after she screamed, and and

How the color slowly rose in his face as she shouted at him, and the light went out of his eyes those eyes that had understood her in ways she didn't understand herself and the old guarded look of his face came back, like a prison door closing and the lock clicking, and he wouldn't look at her no matter what she shrieked at him

What had she said? She wished she knew, but all that was clear was that she was alone again, and it was her own stupid fault this time. The others were all still at the tavern, where she'd left them when she'd run away. She'd run from the pirates, and from the hurt faces of her friends from the deadness in Dameon's dark eyes and mostly from her stupid, idiot self.

Pa would tell her she shouldn't turn her back on her problems. She needed to fix what she had broken. She needed to be brave.

But she wasn't brave. She was impulsive, sometimes, and people thought that was courage, but courageous people didn't run away. She did, she had run away in more ways than one. She remembered how it felt to be in Clearwater not like home anymore, not like a place that knew her. It was a hiding place. All the things people asked her to do had seemed farther away there. Courageous people didn't hide. A brave person would do what was needed, would stand up for herself and would stand up for all the helpless people in the world, stepping boldly into the unknown, not longing always for security that was far past. Not like her.

A brave person would not still be afraid of pirates, for something that had happened so long ago.

And, certainly, a brave person would not have yelled at her friends.

But perhaps, at least, an impulsive person might pretend to be brave. She could apologize for her stupidity, and could maybe be forgiven, and then, possibly, things would go back to how they were before.

She was shaking, but she wanted to try.

So she got up, and dusted herself off and tried to straighten her hair. She readjusted the sword on her back because she was still scared, and it made her feel safer and she went back to the tavern.

There were more pirates inside now, she guessed because it was closer to dinnertime. She saw her group sitting in the back and she tried to make her way towards them.

But it was so crowded, and she didn't want to touch any of the pirates because they smelled and they were glaring at her and they were making her nervous she reached back to feel for her sword, to reassure herself

And her arm bumped into someone. "Sorry," she said quickly, but he turned to scowl at her.

"Scurvy landlubber!" he gritted between black teeth, and grabbed her wrist in rough hands, like those hands—

"Hey!" she protested, but he ignored her

"I warned yer kind not ter touch me," he said, his gaze flicking momentarily to the corner where she knew her friends were before settling back on her.

“Leave me alone!”                     

But his grip tightened and she couldn’t pull her arm free— “Whining whelp,” he growled, and she was afraid of him, and she hated him, and she didn't have time for this right now she reached for her sword with her other hand

"Let go of me or I'll"

She didn't get to finish her threat because the pirate's head was abruptly knocked to the side and he let go of her wrist to touch his jaw, and Rhen looked to see who had helped her and saw Dameon, nursing bloody knuckles, looking angry and a little surprised and a bit shy

"You'll pay fer that," the pirate said, balling his fist and pulling back his arm to take a swing at the priest

But suddenly Rhen was jumping between them, roaring "Don't touch him!"— and she was shaking and her heart was thumping painfully but she wasn’t going to move.

The pirate looked taken aback, his bushy eyebrows raised high, and slowly his fist dropped to his side. And then, unexpectedly, a grin cracked across his face, and he laughed. "Well, aren't you a feisty lass!"

Rhen didn't know how to respond to this so she just growled.

The pirate chuckled. "Go on!" he said, waving his hand dismissively. "I been hit worse before. Teach yer dog to punch."

With that he turned back to his drink, and Rhen was left trembling before the real enemy herself, and her stupid pride

"Rhen," Dameon began, reaching for her

"Don't touch me," she said between gritted teeth, not because she didn't want him to hold her but because her pulse was still pounding and she was still shaking. "What possessed you to punch him?"

Dameon's eyes dark and lifeless met hers. "I didn't want him to hurt you."

She just wanted everything to be all right between them again, but she was afraid to say the only words that might help.

"I'm such a coward," she managed.

There was a moment of nothing but the raucous conversations of drunk seamen and the stink of molding wood, like that ship, the one she hated and then Dameon said, slowly and quietly, "You are the bravest person I know."

She swallowed hard, and hesitated for an awful moment before hiding her face in his broad chest brave people didn't hide, but she did, and brave people didn't cry but maybe that was only because they didn't have a place to leave their tears, and she felt secure enough, now, to say those frightening words

"I'm sorry for being angry," she said, or she meant to say it, but it came out a whisper. "I didn't mean it. I was just afraid."

He had stiffened at first, like he always had before, but now he was holding her gently. His hands were warm and soft. "It's okay, Rhen," he said, and she heard in the slight breaking of his voice that he would protect her, even if he couldn't punch for crap—which was both alarming and reassuring. She pulled away from him to look into his eyes. The lights were coming back.

"Is are the others still angry with me?" she asked.

He shook his head.

"Good," she said, and swallowed. "I would like to apologize to them, too. Will will you come with me?"

He kissed her hand, and said, "Anywhere," and it was the silliest, sappiest thing she had ever heard.

But she believed him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I'm going to update again even though it's only been a week, this next piece is one of my favorites and I am not patient

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Deserted

Honestly someone should confiscate my keyboard, but no one has as of yet so here, have some angst! And fluff, always fluff.

This piece happens a little after the party gets to the Southern Isle. Dameon gets lost and *someone* has to find him. You'll never guess who… or will you?


Normally Dameon was pretty observant. He wasn't about to tell Lars, but that was part of his training as a healer. Warriors— Rhen, especially— had a stubborn way of ignoring their injuries, so he had to notice for them. So normally he would have been paying attention to where the rest of the group walked, and he wouldn't have lagged behind, and he wouldn't have gotten so hopelessly lost.

But he had been thinking of his father, and for once Dameon had been able to picture his face without seeing blood, without hearing the harsh sounds of his parents fighting each other, killing each other. He had been remembering how proud his father had been when he first discovered his magic. He'd been thinking of that small smile on his father's face when he showed him that first spell, which had taken months to perfect.

He had been pondering over whether or not his father would be proud or disappointed with him— he had so rarely been proud, but Dameon was stronger now. And he had wondered if his father would like Rhen of course he would, Rhen was so forthright, and capable, and everything Dameon wished he could be—

He had been lost in thoughts like these, and now here he was, in the desert, in the middle of the day, with the sun pounding down on him and the sand getting into every corner of his immortal soul, and without any clue where he was or where anyone else in Aia was. He felt like he had been walking for years, but it couldn't have been have been more than an hour or so because they'd only left the skudder late that morning.

What he hadn't been taught, as a healer, was how to get unlost. If he remembered which direction they were going, or even where they had come from, he could have followed the sun. But he couldn't remember, and he and the sun were not on speaking terms right now because it was hot, and he was miserable.

He had promised Rhen he wouldn't get in the way. That had been her one condition, when he started travelling with them, "Just don't get in the way." He thought he'd done pretty well, until that morning. But now they were going to have to go out of their way to find him, and that was a lot of walking around in this burning sunlight that they shouldn't have to do— wouldn't have to do, if he had just stayed in the Sun Temple, where he was supposed to be.

He had been lost once before, as a small child. He hated to remember those days, but they followed him always, like his own shadow.

He had run away. He couldn't remember why, but— there had been raised voices, and angry words, and he had been upset.

He'd only meant to go to his usual hiding place, a twisted tree just a little ways from the Tear Shrine. But he must have gone past it, because he hadn't been able to find it, and soon he didn't recognize his surroundings. So he'd tried to turn back, but then he couldn't find the Tear Shrine either—

He pushed the memory away, forcefully. He needed to find the others, before they had to search for him. And before he died of sunstroke— and wouldn't that just be a perfectly ironic way for him to go?

He could have sworn he'd seen that cactus before. But everything in the desert looked the same. Just like in the Dreamworld. Maybe he was going in circles. Or maybe the desert just never ended, and he would wander through it forever until his bones turned to sand and his soul became lost like those disembodied cries he kept hearing in the wind— like some forgotten spirit calling out for something, something that wouldn't come because Dameon was the only one around to hear.

It hadn't been like that in the Dreamworld. He had known that the screeches belonged to the shivens. The horrible cackling came from the dream witches. And the low, rumbling whinny— that was a nightmare.

He remembered the chill that had run through him as he realized it. His father had warned him about the nightmares. They would take his soul, and twist it, and turn him into a night monster— he had been too young to really understand, but the fierce look in his father's eyes was enough to instill an eternal terror in him, and he'd promised, promised, to stay away from them, to stay near the Tear Shrine, where he would be safe.

He recalled the sick, twisting feeling in his stomach as he'd realized how awfully he'd broken that promise, and how dreadfully lost he was. He remembered crying for his parents and thinking that they wouldn't come because they were angry with him, and they didn't, couldn't, love him because he had been so bad—

No. Dameon pulled himself from the memory, sharply, and tried to focus on his surroundings. He scanned the horizon for something, anything, that looked like a town, or a person, or maybe a road. Anything that might indicate he wasn't alone in the desert— but there was nothing.

He ground his teeth and would have liked to cry, but he wasn't a child anymore. He could take care of himself. He could get out of this— this desert. He didn't need to be rescued anymore, like he had then

The nightmare had found him, and charged at him. He'd scrambled out of the way but soon he was trapped against a glowberry bush that he'd tried to hide in, and the nightmare let out a terrible cry—

That's when his father had appeared, and the whole world had suddenly been on fire— bright lights, colliding and exploding and shaking everything, shaking Dameon's very being and the nightmare had screamed, and retreated, and Dameon had run to his father, his hero—

Dameon angrily dashed the tears from his eyes. It had been so long ago. It shouldn't matter anymore. It shouldn't be painful. But—

His father had looked at him so coldly. Dameon knew he had disappointed him. He had crouched down on the ground in front of his rescuer, and tried to apologize, and promised to do better, to be better—

Dameon tripped in the sand, over nothing, and caught himself on his hands. He didn't try to get back up— he had failed. He hadn't done better. He was lost again, and his father couldn't save him this time. He deserved his fate. He deserved to die out here alone in the desert, with no witness but the burning sun and if he cried it was only because he was weak, he was a coward, still, after all these years—

"Look, over there!"

"Is it him?"

"Dameon! Dameon!"

He looked up, and there, running towards him, was Rhen, with her braid swinging and her eyes sparkling. She was throwing her sword and her shield to the side, almost hitting Elini and Lars, who were behind her— and Galahad was there, too, and Te'ijal. Dameon tried to stand up to meet them but Rhen flew into him, and knocked him to the ground again, clinging tightly to his neck—

"Dameon! Where have you been? We thought the coyotes got you, or— or Elini was saying there are demons out here!" Her little hands were pushing his hair back into place, and wiping his eyes, which were still wet, and all he could do was stare up at her "Dameon, you are so sunburned, why didn't you stay put so we could find you? You scared me half to death! Just ask Lars—"

"It's true," Lars said dryly, rolling his eyes. And Elini was pushing a waterskin towards him, and Rhen was taking it and guiding it to his mouth, and Galahad had brought cheese— cheese, of course he had, he was from Sedona—

And Dameon should have known that Rhen would find him. She was always there, when he needed someone, and he should have known, by now, that he could trust her, that she was strong enough and brave enough to do whatever was necessary, that she was kind enough to be gentle with him. She had saved him, again. And he really believed, in that moment, that she always would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’re absolutely welcome!! Thank you for writing such a lovely fic!

And oh gosh there’s more, that’s exciting!!

Hiding: Gonna be honest, this chapter was really tense and hard to read. You really got across Rhen’s sense of panic well. I like how her discomfort makes her lash out at her friends – I, for one, have been there, and I think you do a really good job throughout this fic of giving her realistic, relatable reactions to things. Also, love Dameon trying to be there for Rhen despite not “being able to punch for crap” – to me, that reads like he’s there more often/easily for emotional support, which I think, based on how you write him, is where he really shines!

Deserted: Oh gosh I;m really distraught about Dameon’s negative memories outweighing his positive ones of his father,,, HIM GUSHING ABOUT RHEN INTERNALLY IS SO SWEET, oh gosh gosh all his backstory reflection is breaking my heart here. THE ENTIRE PARTY FOUND HIM…. oh gosh I was NOT expecting that, it’s a really cute and pleasant surprise, oh my god. He has friends. I’m laughing at Galahad bringing cheese also. THAT ENDING LINE!!! OH GOSH!!

I hope you take it as the compliment I intend it as when I say reading these really makes me dread the ending, oh my gosh. You’ve built up such a great dynamic for them and it’s going to be heartwrenching to see that questioned at the end. Luckily we’ve got a ways for that and I trust you’ll make it work for them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@darwin Here I am responding to everything again haha

Hiding: I'll be honest too and tell you quite a few of these next pieces are more on the tense side, though all in different ways. Looking back I kind of tricked everyone? I started out all soft and fluffy and from here on out it get's a bit more emotional. But there are still some fluff pieces scattered throughout, and they're some of the fluffiest, so hopefully that balances it out a bit haha. Thank you! I've been there too and I just wanted to let Rhen react like a normal person, I guess? She's always so tough and she needed a break, even a tiny one. And thank you, I love your reading of that part, you always manage to pull my meaning out of these and it makes me so happy. (Though I have to admit that the original inspiration for that specific line in the early writing was just that when people ask what I'm writing, I say "crap," and I decided to make it irrefutably true for once and just wrote the word ahaha)

Deserted: See, this is what I mean. Suddenly everything is angst and I gave you no warning, and I'm sorry for that, but aaaahhh thank you or sharing in my distress and gushing and yees he has friends, I'm so glad you appreciate that part T.T Also the cheese part. And the ending, thank you so much!! 

Hooooohhhh boy, I am actually writing that part right now (though we still have quite a few pieces before it gets posted here), and it's killing me from the inside out, I hope I can do it justice and not betray your trust. BUT EVEN IF I FAIL, I can promise a very soft end piece (spoilers but I'm pretty sure everyone knew this already)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SO. I can't write chronologically and ended up writing a piece that goes between "Return" and "Cold Encounter, Warm Heart." I've edited a post between those two pieces to have the new piece, so just use control + f and search "Chocolate"

Or, if it's easier, here is a link to the oneshot on fanfiction.net 

And also, because I feel bad for causing such inconvenience to anyone trying to read this chronologically, and also because I am impatient, here's the next piece! 

Reckless

Rhen gets injured in the demon caves in Veldt. Pretty much everything is explained so just read it. (Please? :D)

________________________________________________________________

She was reckless. Her impulses were the storms that tore across her own desert, uprooting everything that had dared to grow, making long deep trenches like so many wounds, leaving her desolate.

Something always healed her. Like the constant force of gravity pulling, pulling the displaced dirt back into the trenches, repairing, restoring. Like the bright sun feeding the roots and seeds that were left, encouraging them to grow deeper, to hold tighter to the soil. She didn't know what it was, but it was making her stronger.

And she needed to be stronger, because the world was getting bigger and scarier all the time.

Like now. Now, they were on the Southern Isle, a place she'd barely heard rumors of before this quest. Like most places they went these days, really. And they were exploring the Demon Caves, which were literally caves full of demons.

She shouldn't complain, since it had been her idea, but what wasn't her idea was finding and retrieving six druids, one of which had her temple in these demon caves. And it definitely hadn't been Rhen’s idea for all of these druids to have lost their souls to daevas.

Also, no matter what Lars or anyone else said, it had most certainly not been her plan to be ambushed by red and blue dragons.

They were all attacking Elini. The demon summoner spun and snapped her whip but there were too many; Rhen didn't think, she just leaped, slicing and blocking and singing a spell which might have been Time Twist, but she didn't know

"AOWW!" There was a sharp pain where her leg should be, and she couldn't hear anything except her heart going thump, thump, and the cave was spinning, and she was falling, and the world was black

And next she was aware of a low sound, warm and soothing. Her head hurt but the sound, strangely, seemed to help. Her heart, which, she realized, had been pounding wildly, slowed to a steady beat, and the sound flowed on, softly...

It was a voice, murmurings spells. Spells. No, the battle

"Agh"

"Rhen, it's all right. Lie back down, slowly" a warm hand on her back, dark brown eyes above her.

"Dameon"

He lowered her gently onto the sleeping mat he was kneeling beside. "Everyone is all right. Please, rest."

She was in a dark cavern. A small fire was burning, illuminating the area just enough for her to see that Dameon was right; everyone was fine. Elini sat patching a hole in one of her skirts. Galahad and Te'ijal stood guard at the cavern's entrance. Dameon was looking down at her with a worried, tired little frown.

"What happened?" she asked.

"You fainted. I... couldn't get to you in time."

"My leg" she remembered.

He waved a hand. "It is healed."

She realized that it was. "Thank you."

He only grunted, and looked away.

"What's the matter?"

"Nothing is wrong." But the way he said it clearly meant that something was. Was he angry at her?

Reckless, stupid "I'm sorry for rushing into the battle like that. I should have been more careful."

He didn't even look at her.

"More imps, uplanders!" Te'ijal warned, and Rhen heard the scuffling sounds of her companions rushing to join the battle. She moved to get up but Dameon frowned, now looking at her quite severely.

"Stay there, sword singer."

"But I"

"Rhen, please!" And then he was gone, battling beside the others. Rhen heard the familiar hum of his Shield Exura, covering even herself, and she pouted.

"I CAN STILL FIGHT," she yelled, even though she knew nobody would hear her over the imps' cackling and Lars's chanting and Galahad's battle cries.

"It isn't fair," she muttered. "I know I made a stupid mistake but I'm fine now. I can fight!" It was a lie, she knew. Her leg still ached and her chest felt heavy. But she wanted to fight.

One of Lars's thunderstorms briefly illuminated the cavern, and she saw Elini catching an imp in her whip and Dameon whacking at one with his staff. She smiled in spite of herself. She was pretty sure the party could get by without Dameon's offensive abilities, but it was sort of cute that he tried.

She heard a few more smacks and clangs and magical crackling noises, and then the sound of weapons being put away. The battle was over. The hum of the shield around her faded, and she saw Dameon walking towards her again.

She looked quickly towards the cavern's ceiling. She didn't like him being angry at her. It made her feel… lonely and scared and… mad! She'd only made one tiny mistake, and he'd healed her easily enough. Why was he taking it so personally?

She tried to ignore the nagging memories of all the other mistakes she made, and all the other injuries she could have avoided with a little more caution, and then Dameon was kneeling beside her.

She resolutely stared at the ceiling. "Don't be mad at me."

She felt him shifting beside her, and then he said, tiredly, "What?"

"I know I should have been more careful, and that I do stupid things all the time, but I haven't done anything really stupid yet. You can always heal me just fine, so I don't see why you should be mad"

"Rhen, I am not mad at you."

Now she felt surprised and embarrassed and relieved, and she had to look at him, and his dark eyes. "Then... what's the matter?"

He looked down at his hands, and plucked at his robes.

"Dameon?"

She thought for a moment that he would refuse to answer, but then he said, his face burning, "You jumped into battle so fast I didn't have time" he seemed to struggle with himself, his usually smooth voice was choked. "I was too slow couldn't shield you. Rhen, I you were almost I" he swallowed. "I'm sorry, Rhen."

He was shaking beside her, his hands wringing the ends of his robes into tight little wads.

She stared up at him, feeling like Aia's biggest idiot. "You were mad at... at yourself?"

He hesitated and then nodded, a short, jerky little motion.

Slowly, she reached out and put her hand on his trembling ones. "Dameon, I" she found that she didn't know how to express the feeling that was swelling up inside her. But she had to say it, somehow— it was too big for her chest"You should forgive yourself. You healed me. I couldn't have made it this far without you. I" she stopped herself, suddenly knowing what she meant and unable to say it, and she finished self-consciously, "I need you."

His dark eyes came up to meet hers, and the anxiety clouding them melted in the firelight and something like hope seemed to shine through, and then, slowly and gently, he raised her hand to his lips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the Choice

THIS PIECE IS VERY IMPORTANT LATER so pay attention:)

If I may make a disclaimer, I would like to say I am in no way advocating the "do whatever makes you happy" lifestyle, because, if hurting people makes you happy, that's bad. But this short is about Rhen, and Rhen needs to be reminded that she is an autonomous being and she is allowed to be happy. I have this ridiculous long essay that explains why I think Dameon would be the one to remind her of this, but I will spare you. You're welcome. On with the fluff!

This scene happens in Veldt, before they get Pirate John. (I know, so sad. I promise he's coming soon!) They're staying at the inn, because in the game we can't stay at Elini's, which is super weird, but whatever.


Elini didn't have any spare rooms, due to the number of husbands (three!) and servants she had, so the party had to stay at the inn that night. Rhen didn't mind; inns could be nice when they were clean, and the inn at Veldt was especially luxurious. But the problem was, whenever they stayed in an inn, her companions wanted to eat out.

And Rhen didn't want to go tonight, because she'd found the stupid Pendragon sigma ring in the bottom of her pack that morning, and she wanted an evening to sulk about it.

"Are you ready, Rhen?" Dameon called from the other side of her door.

"No!" she snapped. It was the first time she had said it, but nobody had asked her what she wanted in the first place.

"What's taking her so long?" she heard Lars complaining.

"I don't think she wants to go," Dameon said.

Lars scoffed. "That's ridiculous. She's always hungry. Rhen, hurry up!" He raised his voice for the last part.

"No!"

"Don't yell at her," she heard Dameon saying, but Lars must not have been listening, because he kept yelling anyway.

"We'll leave without you!"

"Good!" she yelled back.

"What is the cause of all this shouting?" she heard Galahad asking pompously, and Rhen couldn't help glaring even though nobody could see her.

"Rhen is being stubborn," Lars said. "We'll just go without her. Where are the others?"

"They are waiting at the entrance," Galahad said, and then Rhen heard their retreating footsteps and the hallway fell silent.

Oh. Somehow, she hadn't expected them to actually go without her. Everything was quiet, for once, and even though she'd been wishing for a little quiet for months, it felt kind of... lonely.

She glared at the stupid sigma ring in her hand. "I didn't ask for you," she informed it. "I just wanted to be a normal, poor, happy person."

She tried to imagine herself like that, like a simple villager with no magical sword abilities and no destiny to speak of. But things kept coming up, like the rushing exhilaration in her chest at the start of a battle, the thrill of moving, dancing, with her blade, the feeling of invincibility as one of Dameon's shields settled around her—

And she kept remembering how it felt to save Dirkon from the rats, and to bring Tiny back to her fairy prince, and she kept thinking of the shy, secret sort of smile Dameon would give her after such quests. She couldn't imagine a life where she didn’t know that smile.

She didn’t pass her days in apple orchards anymore, she spent her time with a vampire who wanted to see the sun, and with a demon summoner who had three husbands and was looking for more, and with a sorcerer, and a king’s paladin, and Dameon— and a sun priest, she meant. And the Druid of Light, she meant—

It was crazy. It was absurd. It was her life.

She couldn't be a normal person. Maybe she could be poor, if she stopped looting corpses. And maybe she could be happy, if—

There was a knock at the door, and she almost dropped the ring. Who "What?" she snapped, shoving the stupid ring into her pocket.

"Would— would you like to eat now, Rhen?"

She threw open the door and found herself looking up at Dameon. "What I I thought you all left," she stammered, feeling her face get hot.

"No, I" his ears were pink and he cleared his throat. "I was worried about you. It isn't like you to refuse food."

"I" she traced the sigma ring in her pocket. "I" she stared at him helplessly, wanting to tell him and also very much wanting to run away.

"It's okay," he said, touching her elbow. "You don't have to talk about it until you're ready."

"I don't?"

"Of course not." He smiled gently at her, a lovely, soothing sort of smile that made a warm, comfortable feeling settle in her chest.

"Thank you," she said, smiling too and blushing because she wondered, suddenly, how his smile would feel pressed to hers. She looked down. "I am getting hungry," she admitted, and scuffed the ground with her boot.

"Me too!" he said, so excitedly she had to look at him again, and see how his smile widened and his cheeks lifted the corners of his eyes. He swung a brown pack off his shoulder. "I thought we could make sandwiches, so we wouldn't have to leave the inn" his grin slipped, "unless if you wanted to, of course I meant"

She laughed because she felt... happy, and put a finger over his lips. "Sandwiches sound great."


They had a magnificent feast. They had laid out everything the bread and meat and cheese and even a few various vegetables on one of the inn's tables. The innkeeper looked at the two diners distastefully, but Rhen just flaunted her sword a bit and no one bothered them.

Dameon sliced the bread and the meat, and grinned at her, and made her sandwiches however she wanted, even when she asked for two slabs of meat around a slice of bread, and he didn't even raise his eyebrows at her once.

Rhen ate four sandwiches, and a half, because Dameon, groaning and admitting himself to be utterly defeated, gave her the rest of his third one. And Rhen couldn't remember the last time she'd laughed so hard or so long.

And then she tripped over her own stupid feet while trying to help Dameon clean up, and she was suddenly sprawled all over the floor.

"Rhen!" Dameon hurried over to her, dropping the brown bag he had been repacking. "Are you all right? Are you hurt?" He was kneeling beside her, helping her sit up, and then he was healing the ankle she'd twisted, all before she could make herself say a word—

"I I" she stammered, embarrassed to have shown herself to be so clumsy, again, and then he was picking something up off the ground beside her.

"What's this?"

Rhen recognized the sigma ring and snatched it out of his hands. "It's nothing," she said quickly, darkly, not feeling at all like laughing anymore. "Just my stupid destiny."

She could feel him staring at her, but she looked stubbornly at the ground.

"Rhen" he said, in the same urgent but careful voice he used when she was injured. "You are not required to do what everyone else wants. You are allowed make your own choices."

She scoffed and looked at him, and was surprised to find that his expression was so completely sincere, and his dark eyes were so intensely certain, that she almost believed him.

"Rhen, you are a person, too," he continued, touching her hand and then coloring and looking away. "I I know that they can be overbearing." He didn't have to tell her who. "Don't let them overrule you. Please," he looked at her again and his cheeks were a burning red but his eyes were piercing hers, "choose what makes you happy."

Happy. Maybe she couldn't be normal, and being poor didn't sound all that great by itself anyway, but maybe, maybe, at least for now, happiness was possible.

"I I would like to choose some dessert."

He smiled softly. "Okay. What would you like for dessert?"

She grinned, and whispered in his ear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/28/2018 at 10:54 PM, Mu11berry said:

two slabs of meat around a slice of bread

SNORT. I love a little gluttony in my Rhen, to be honest, and a little goofiness. She's so fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Ishti Haha agreed, it's honestly a bit of a cliche but it's one the world will never have enough of in my opinion XD Rhen's the best

____________________________________________________________________________________

Here I am updating again, I'm pretty fond of this piece because of the Te'ijal/Galahad stuff that was inevitably included, and also Rhen is just so stinkin cute and Dameon is so serious aaand I just better stop ranting before I spoil everything XD XD

Do You Mind?

This one happens in Veldt, and… yeah, that's pretty much it for the setting. Oh, yes, and I totally steal lines from the manor for this scene and I’m not even sorry. This is fanfiction, everything is stolen.


In Rhen's immovable, inflexible, and obviously correct opinion, the women of Veldt paid way too much attention to her travelling companions. Especially the males.

Well, okay. So it didn't bother her when they teased Lars. Lars seemed to hate it, but he also seemed to thrive on it, and anyway he could take care of himself.

And Rhen also had to admit she didn’t particularly mind the female Veldtonian's pointed looks in Galahad's direction. Their gazes did tend to make the paladin blush furiously, and he always stepped away from them, and invariably ended up closer to Te'ijal— and then he had to leap back, and would find himself too close to the desert women again, and this was a somewhat tedious and annoying cycle, but it at least kept Te'ijal occupied so Rhen didn't have to worry about what poor undeserving souls the vampress was terrorizing. So as far as the sword singer was concerned, it really didn't matter one way or the other.

But sometimes, some of the tanned, exotic, alluring women would turn their attention to Dameon, and that was— was—

Well. Rhen didn't have any excuse that she wanted to share, but it was definitely different, and she definitely minded it. And so, stupid as it was, whenever one of the Veldtonians looked at the Sun Priest, Rhen stepped closer to him, even though it was filthy hot out and she was already swimming in a pool of sweat and she definitely didn't need any of his body heat— and he was very warm, by the way, and the blazing blush that was burning on Rhen's face was not helping at all.

But still, the southerners kept looking at him! Rhen tried displaying her sword, drawing it every once in a while to let the sun glint off the sharp edges, but that had about zero effect on the Veldtonians and mostly just seemed to make Dameon nervous. So Rhen put the sword away and tried glaring.

But her face hurt, and the members of her party were starting to give her funny looks.

Especially Elini, Elini was looking at her like she had a militant squirrel in her hair.

She could think of only one other solution, but it was terrifying— terrifying, to the person who had taken down Nanghaithya as a fledgling sword singer. Daunting to the girl who had traipsed into vampire country with nothing but a few dinky pieces of armor and a garlic necklace, fearsome to she who had defeated Zarich, and Tawrich, and Indra! Frightening even to her, to Rhen Darzon, or Pendragon or whatever her dang surname was supposed to be now.

The thing she wanted to do, and it was very embarrassing, but what terrified her so much was the idea that maybe, maybe, the Veldtonian women would stop looking at Dameon if— if—

If she held his hand.

See, it was very stupid. She had held his hand before. He held her hand all the time, to kiss it. But this was... different! Because everyone was watching! Or— or really it was because— because—

This wasn't a friendly feeling that was making her stand so close to him, that was making her hand twitch at her side. This wasn't because she wanted to lead him somewhere, or offer comfort, or even because she was cold or tired. This— was— jealousy

"Are you enjoying my home country, sword singer?"

Rhen whirled to face Elini— and nearly smacked Dameon with her braid. Her cheeks were red but not because she was sunburned, and her palms were sweaty but it wasn't because of the heat—

"Er— I guess. I mean, it's very hot— warm! I meant warm. In a good way. I— er—"

Elini just smiled at her, and raised her delicate Veldtonian eyebrows. "You might find the sun more bearable, if you weren't standing so close to the Sun Pri—"

"Oh, look at that lovely cactus!" Rhen interrupted quickly. And really it might have been a lovely cactus, if she hadn't seen so many already, and if it wasn't so hot out— and mostly if that young, pretty woman over there wasn't looking at their party so curiously, and— and— coming towards them?!

"Elinidana'ter'Lithir de Aramati!" The woman walked past Rhen and stretched out her arms to Elini. "I see you are back from your travels. Tell me, are these three men your conquests?"

Rhen's hands clenched into fists and she almost said something rude— she didn't know what, but Elini answered first—

"No, no, these men are not mine. My search continues."

Rhen's fists relaxed for just a moment and she even thought her breathing was almost regular.

"I see," the woman said shrewdly, and her gaze— an appealing gaze rimmed with dark lashes— moved to where Lars was standing. "I did think the two wielders seemed rather young for you."

Lars hmphed and rolled his eyes, and the woman frowned and looked instead towards Rhen, past Rhen, at Dameon, and Rhen couldn't step any closer to him— her arms were dripping with sweat and her fingers itched and Dameon's hand was right there— she tried to reach for it but she couldn't move. She couldn't tear her eyes from the Veldtonian woman, with her gauzy flowing skirts and almond eyes, and Rhen's sense had melted right out of her head and into the sand and all she felt was red, red, red

Then long, sweaty fingers were wrapping around her hand, and dark eyes were looking down into hers and then moving towards the Veldtonian woman, and a low voice was saying, very politely, "I'm sorry, m'lady, but I don't want to be your husband."

The woman tossed her head, and turned towards Galahad— and seemed to think better of it when she saw Te'ijal. And then she was saying goodbye to Elini, and walking away—

And Rhen realized Dameon was still holding onto her hand, and her palms were sweaty, and his palms were sweaty, and sticky, and the lack of space between them was hot enough to melt her sword

And she didn't mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a oneshot that I wrote like last year in the spring, because it is now almost not spring anymore and I really wanted to get this in for spring because it is such a springy piece so here:

Serious Matters

Rhen has the cutest sense of humor ever, and I had to write about it. This piece covers parts of the game from a bit before Galahad joins the party to when they have the genie's lamp and can *technically* defeat Saurva (but we all know you gotta train up for that because those lamp monsters are VICIOUS). All the jokes except the last one were actually in the game. Very sunny and silly. Happy spring!


Rhen had insisted that they bring the elf statuette to Ylisfar. It seemed to be one of her jokes, her very serious jokes, and they all smiled and went along with it. Mostly because they weren't ready to face those monsters in that lamp yet. But for Dameon, it was also because he was all tangled up in her sense of humor and he didn't know where hers ended and his started, not anymore—

But anyway, that's why they were in the meadow near Brumwich. Elini had wanted to stop for a rest before going down into Rootwell and fighting all those nippets and krackens, and nobody had the energy to argue— which was probably a good indication that they should stop. Dameon was trying to spend the time working on a new shield spell. But instead he kept looking at Rhen, who was sitting cross legged in the grass looking very enchanting and weaving a flower crown out of bright pink and yellow flowers. He wondered what sort of mischief she had planned this time.

He had begun to realize she was hilarious in Sedona, when she'd offered to exchange a stick figure drawing for a ticket to a ball— and all so she could buy a manor, which they would barely use because they would be scouring every corner of Aia for druids and daevas and who knew what else. At first he had thought she’d finally snapped under the pressure of trying to save the world, but then he had noticed something sort of cavalier in the way she stood, and it had gradually dawned on him, with all the slow solemnity of the Oracle ascending the stairs of the Sun Temple, that Rhen was making a joke.

The funniest part was, it worked. Frederick actually gave them his ticket. And watching Rhen smile and giggle and look completely delighted, Dameon had felt a strange quivering sensation in his throat. And he hadn’t known what to do with that, so he just stood in the back and tried to ignore it, hoping it wouldn’t happen again.

But it did happen again, over and over.

He remembered when she offered to pay the thieves double to tell them who had tried to assassinate the king. He had been nervous, he recalled, but again there had been that sort of offhanded, confident air about her that made the whole frightening ordeal seem— silly. It had seemed silly, and his throat shook again and he’d swallowed hard and focused on controlling his breathing.

It wasn't like he hadn't laughed before. Just, maybe, not very often. But he sometimes chuckled because Lars was so ridiculously hotheaded, or because Te'ijal was too creepy to be taken seriously, or just because Rhen was laughing, and she was charming and warm— or, she made him feel warm, and—

Anyway, he did laugh. It was just different to laugh at the sort of ironic, silly jokes that Rhen tended to make. Where he would have felt awkward, she was whimsical. She saw the humor in all that was grave and heavy. She made light of all those things that would have weighed him down, and if he laughed—

If he laughed, he knew he would never be the same.

So when she'd stood over that silly toad in the Sandstone Caves, with her shoulders thrown back and her head held high— exactly like a princess, and a rebel— and said in that same dramatic voice she had used before, "I'll warn you one more time, Toad. Let the girl go or die," Dameon hadn't laughed, even though his throat convulsed like he had swallowed a bini, or maybe a fairy—

Oh, the fairies. She had realized they needed to make peace between the Mountain King and the Snow Queen if they were going to get to the demon in the Snow Queen's basement, and of course the only logical way to do that was to bring a fairy to the king. She knew the whole situation was ridiculous and that was the part that was funny— so funny that Dameon's lungs ached, but he kept his mouth closed and his eyes down until the feeling passed.

They defeated the demon and that had definitely not been funny. But then Te'ijal had wanted to visit the Mountain King and Ice Queen, just to see. So they went to the caves behind Thornkeep, and the Mountain King looked at them very imperiously and said in a deep, rumbling voice, "Welcome, Southerners. What news have you of the world?"

Rhen had straightened so that she looked just as royal as the two rulers standing before her, and said, in that irresistible tone that was a parody of dignity, "Demons have broken loose and are now roaming the land."

Dameon wasn't made out of stone or ice, or even out of the same noble stuff that allowed Lars and Elini and Galahad to watch this exchange with straight faces, and when the Mountain King spluttered "WHAT?!" his lungs burned, and his throat trembled, and before he could stop himself he was laughing—

And Rhen had blushed and didn't look half so solemn anymore, especially not as she stammered, "Er, just kidding. Ha. Ha. Ha," or as she took Dameon's elbow and pulled him out of the cave, murmuring something about what had come over him, he should really try to be a bit more respectful—

"But Rhen, it was your joke," he'd reminded her, and even though she was raising her eyebrows at him he couldn't take her seriously, he couldn't take himself seriously, so he'd kissed her pink little nose, twice, and he hadn't been able feel dignified again until she smiled and laughed too, which made no sense at all but he didn't mind because she was very charming, and it wasn't so bad, to never be the same again, as long as she was with him to guide him through this new way of feeling, of being—

So he'd lost, in the end, and he'd ended up laughing with Rhen about the genie in the lamp, and about having to fight the Veldt queen's favorite husband, and he'd laughed when she bought the pirate sails, too. Lars had not found it amusing, but Elini had seemed to like the idea, and Rhen had shrugged and spent 1300 gold on them.

Then Galahad reminded them, very loudly, that the citizens of Sedona would not tolerate pirate sails in their docks, so the party had dropped their anchor near the lowlands instead. And that was when Rhen decided they were going to bring the elf statuette to Ylisfar, and now—

She was looking up at him and blushing, and he realized he'd been staring at her, and smiling very stupidly.

"Hi, Dameon," she said, looking back down at the flower crown she was making.

"Hi, Rhen," is what he said, but what he thought was that the pastel colors of the flowers brought out the deep violetness of her eyes and the blue lowlights in her hair, and that she was completely radiant—

"What are you smiling at?"

He laughed— again— just because she was lovely. "Those flowers go very nicely with your eyes," he said, and crouched next to her to pick one and tuck it behind her little ear. "See? Now you look just like a fairy."

She blushed again and then grinned. "No, Dameon, you look just like a fairy." And she plopped that silly flower crown onto his head, and made him wear it while they visited the elves, which was very immature, and undignified, and—

Hilarious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rhen the glutton; Rhen the goofball! I'm a huge fan! Rhen has always struck me as way wittier than anyone (with the possible exception of John, who can probably match her joke for joke, which is why they're besties) and of course Dameon would love that about her! He really does need some reasons to laugh.

I hope I get to see your anthology all together on Ao3 someday! No particular reason, I guess; I just think it'd be neat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Ishti Agreed!! Rhen and John are definitely the funniest and I love them. And I think Te'ijal and Elini are also witty but in a different kind of way,  they can point out all the little oddities and inconsistencies of life/cultures/people (which is probably part of why I like their relationships with Galahad and Lars so much-- somebody has to point it out to them when they're being ridiculous XD). And Dameon... has a lot of bad puns, which he is just getting used to telling so maybe with practice he'll improve, aaand apparently now I am ranting about all their senses of humor and I apologise for that, I just love them :kawaii-love:

YES of course he would, and coincidentally I always think of your Categorical oneshot when I reread Serious Matters. I love that we both came to that conclusion, even though I wrote this a long time before I read that and you wrote that a long time before reading this, thank you so much again.

Aaah thanks, maybe one day I'll put it up there, when I'm feeling brave and also really, really patient, ahaha.

_____________________________________________

Updating again even though it's only been like a week cuz I have no patience. Warning that this one is kind of intense coming after that last one. It might have the most angst of any of the pieces so far, though that depends on the reader a bit. So yes, take some deep breaths before reading, and I promise the next 3 pieces are super fluffy and relatively lighthearted and then like 5 angst ones cuz I have no mercy and I hate myself

 

Back and Forth

For reference, the party has returned Eithera to Aveyond, gotten Pirate John and Mad Marge (one day maybe I'll write that short, I have like 7 deleted drafts for it ahaha), and they are now on the way to get a dragon. Also, I have Dameon trying to learn a spell from a spellbook, because even though one for him is never mentioned in the game, in Ahriman's Prophecy there is a book in the Collegium of War and Magick that says spells must be studied to be learned. So.

Yeah, I’m a nerd.

_______________________________________
They had stopped for lunch on the beach, at Pirate John's request. Galahad said it was hot and Te'ijal said it was romantic, or amusing, she couldn't seem to decide which. Lars thought it was sandy, and Elini's hair kept getting in her mouth. Mad Marge sneered at her and told her to cut it, and Rhen told her Dameon could braid it, and swung her own braid around to show the demon summoner, which Dameon thought was very cute and also very— 

There was a kind of twisting in his stomach that reminded him how frail things like this were. He had been so— happy, recently, and the last time he had been this happy—

It could all end, it could all end quickly, and he would be powerless to stop it, just like before.

He had to do something, he had to be prepared this time.

So he had excused himself, and walked farther down the desert beach to look for a quiet place to study. He’d found a cove, which shielded him from view, and he’d taken out his spellbook and sat down to try to learn the one offensive spell a Sun Priest could learn, Sun Fury

It was an ancient spell, older, perhaps, than even Vata. He had seen his father use it only very, very rarely, when he was in danger, or when his... when his mother was in danger. And one horrible time, against his mother, on that night. 

He didn't want to remember, not now. He had to concentrate if he was going to figure this spell out. He glared down at the book in his hands— it had been his father's. 

FatherMother. The words did not mean what they once did. They did not mean the same from one moment to the next. Father, someone he had loved, who had protected him, and taught him— someone who had died, who had left him when he was most in need. Mother, someone he had trusted, someone who had betrayed him carelessly—

Someone who wanted his forgiveness.

The gentle back and forth of the waves on the beach should have soothed him, but instead it flustered him, back, and forth, and back— like his thoughts, and he couldn't escape either.

He used to think his mother was evil, for what she had done, for how she had broken their family. But today, the party was going to capture a Tehyor dragon. Tehyor dragons could not abide evil. And he couldn't help thinking, as he sat alone in the sand, with the waves crashing in front of him— what if— if he could forgive his mother, if he had forgiveness anywhere in his soul, then maybe— maybe, his family could be un-broken. And maybe the emptiness in him, the lack of anything light— maybe that was the real evil. Maybe the dragon would kill him.

He was afraid to die— and back, and forth, and back, and forth—

The waves were like him. Inconstant. Unsteady. Advancing only to retreat again. Forming only to break against the beach, against sand—

He had fainted during a battle that morning. He was always fainting, he couldn't fight back when attacked, like the others could. He hated it— the cold sweat, the foggy spinning feeling in his head, the sour taste in his mouth and the knotted feeling in his gut, like he'd been punched, and most of all how helpless and pathetic and useless he was, and how vulnerable he left everyone else, and especially—

Especially, he hated how vulnerable he left Rhen, and maybe it was selfish of him, and maybe he didn't care.

That's why he had to learn Sun Fury. He couldn't leave her without shields, or healing, not anymore—

Eithera had made him realize it. Eithera was invincible, and terrifying, she could probably break him in two if she felt like it, and he had no evidence she didn’t feel like it— but she had taken an immediate liking to Rhen, and before they had arrived in Aveyond she had told Dameon, in a low voice, "If I had any intention of retiring in the next century, I would make the sword swinger my successor."

And then, almost indifferently, "It is too bad she will die before then."

He'd turned to stare at her, and she'd scoffed. "Foolish child! Being the Chosen One does not give her immortality. Do you forget?"

He had not forgotten, only... he had not remembered, and—

It was not fair, that Rhen would die, after all she had done for the world, and all she still intended to do—

He could do almost nothing about it. All those useless defensive spells he had— he could protect her from injury, from nearly every kind of magical attack, from curses and poisons and broken bones— but against time, every spell he had was powerless.

Vata could protect her, if he chose to, if it were necessary to his all-important grand scheme of things.  And the Oracle could protect her, if she thought it would help keep the world in balance. If, it all came down to that, to the uncompromising decision of some ancient being who had long forgotten what it was to be human— to be small, and— to be vulnerable.

The sound of the waves pulled him back to reality. Back, and forth, and back

It was like the way Rhen's braid swayed behind her when she walked— and back, and forth. He remembered how she blushed when he talked to her— and back, and forth— and he remembered how frighteningly pale she was after a battle when she'd lost too much blood—

It always made Dameon think of his father, on that night, when he lay dying on the stone floor and there had been nothing Dameon could do, just stare and scream—

His father's life had not been important to Vata's grand scheme. It had not been necessary to the balance of Aia. His father, who had been the Druid of Light for centuries, who had protected the Oracle's precious harmony for millennia— he was left to die. Would Rhen's life be valued any higher?

He could not risk it. He had not forgotten what it was to measure life on a different scale than the unbending masters of Aia. He remembered loss. His heart still ached with it. His soul was still numb.

And the waves still advanced and retreated, they never rested, back, and forth, and back—

Ahriman could protect her. Ahriman could give her immortality, and he wouldn't have any arbitrary conditions, any unmeetable demands. He would grant her life because she was steadfast and strong, and deadly and—

She was also beautiful, in a way that had nothing to do with her smile or her long eyelashes or all her gently curling hair gathered up in a braid behind her, swaying back and forth—

And back, and forth—

She had asked him to braid her hair again that morning. He had been thinking of what Eithera had said, and of what his mother had done, and a smile had been the farthest thing from his mind. But when she gave him her brush and that familiar rosy blush spread over her face, he had smiled without thinking about it, and he forgot about all those dark things and he thought instead of lavender and of how funny it was that he unknotted her hair just to knot it up again— except more neatly, of course. She had laughed when he told her so. Her laugh was beautiful, and loud, and genuine, and if a sound could be made by a candle flickering in a far-away window when everything else was dark, that would be it. 

A world without that laugh would be— empty. 

He had to learn this spell. He stared down at the book. He couldn't comprehend the words, he was reading them but they were passing through him like ghosts—

And back, and forth, and back, and forth—

He read the words slowly, tested them on his tongue. They felt foreign. It was foolish, to think he could learn a spell like this. He was not powerful, like his father. He did not even know if he was good or evil.

But not learning the spell was not an option. He read it again. 

Maybe all he could do would never be enough. He could not even bring his mother to justice— he didn't even always know if he wanted to, or if he should want to— 

He could not undo what he had already done. He could not fix what was already broken— he was broken, and if he kept fighting the world and his mother and— himself— maybe he would only ever make it worse. 

There was not enough light in Aia to combat the darkness that was inside him.

The words were still unfamiliar. How many times had he read them now? It didn't matter, he had to fight, he had to learn this spell. For Rhen. 

He said the words until he remembered them. He remembered them, but he didn't feel them like he should. He put the book down and picked up his staff. He said the words again. 

Nothing. 

He tried to reach for some kind of offensive power inside, something like—

Anger. He was angry at his mother.

He said the words. Nothing.

He was angry at— the Oracle, for dropping the weight of the world on Rhen, for giving her nothing to help her carry it, for not even caring if she lived or died—

Nothing, nothing, nothing!

He was angry at— at— at—

Himself, for not being able to do this, for being so weak and powerless and— broken—

Something happened, something in his stomach that rose up his throat with the words— and it rebounded back against him, painfully—

He tried again. The spell backfired— again. He grunted in frustration. Why couldn't he be like Rhen, dangerous and capable and— good

Again— it backfired. It wasn't working, he was only destroying himself—

Again—

"Dameon! What are you doing?"

He whirled around and suddenly he was facing Rhen. She was standing at the mouth of the cove, her eyes wide, her lips a quivering pink o.

"I— I— I was just trying to learn this— spell."

"What— what spell?" Her voice squeaked— he had frightened her. She was walking to him now and he took a step back. 

"I— I was practicing Sun Fury. It's for— offense."

She had reached him. She put her hand on his staff and he knew she was trembling by how it shook. "Well— stop practicing. You're tired. You need— a break."

"Rhen..." he didn't know how to explain it to her, she didn't understand. He had to practice, he needed to know this spell— he didn’t want to scare her. "I— I should be able to do this by now! Sun Priests have been learning this spell for— millennia."

"Please, Dameon?" She was looking up at him with her vividly violet eyes— what was beautiful about Rhen was the bottomless look of those eyes, like they could swallow up all the darkness in the world and still sparkle in the sun. Her beauty was kindness and gentleness and all those things which sounded so soft but which were so heavy to carry— which she carried anyway, because she was brave. "Let— let me take care of the offense, okay?" she continued. "I need you to defend me, and to take care of my injuries, and to— to—"

He swallowed down the anger that still shook in his chest, the rage that was mostly shame and fear, and he finished for her, "— To— braid your hair?"

She smiled softly, and then flung her arms around his neck and rested her head on his robes and held him until he forgot to be afraid. 

And when they got to the dragon later that day, and it glanced sideways at him and his heart stopped, Rhen just took his hand and pulled him up to sit behind her on its back, and he clung tightly to her waist, and he still didn't know if he was good or bad—

But he could hold on to her while the world raced by beneath them, and— she would help them find the answers, whatever they were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So this next piece is actually one of the first ones I wrote, and it feels kind of nostalgic for me to read? It's very strange, I wrote it so I definitely shouldn't feel this way. But here I am, feeling this way anyway, ahaha. 

Anyway, welcome aboard the fluff express. If you think you may be on the wrong train, it's too late, we've already departed the station. Enjoy the ride.

______________________________________________

Softly

There’s pretty much no reason for the party to return to the manor in Sedona at this time but I always go back to it when I play to see all the conversations and anyway they all need a break honestly so these next few oneshots are in Sedona, so there. They can be stocking up on supplies or something.

Also there is no furniture store in Sedona, but there SHOULD be.

Lastly, Dameon mentions something about being betrayed by the Sun God during one of the first cutscenes, and I made a slight reference to that. So when you come to that part, now you'll know what's going on.
_______________________________________________________________

For what seemed like the hundredth time that day alone, he found himself slowing his steps as they approached the pet shop. Before he knew it he was staring in the window, looking for the cream-colored kitten with the light pink nose and bright amber eyes. He found her in the far corner, and she tilted her tiny head and flicked her tail at him. He almost went insidethen he frowned to himself, and hurried to catch up with everyone else. He tried to ignore Rhen's questioning glance, and reminded himself that their manor was already quite full of animals.

Te'ijal's bat had come first. She'd named it Serpent Spawn, which Dameon thought was funny. Rhen didn't get it until Galahad had begun hurling his usual insults at the vampress and the bat hurled itself at him. Then the sword singer had laughed until a terrible case of hiccups prevented her. She hiccuped the way she did everything wholeheartedly, unabashedly, unpretentiously. Her back straightened and her shoulders went up and hic she slumped back down.

"Da hic meon," she had whined. "Do some hic thing."

He was already rubbing her back, and he hadn't been sure what else he could do. For the millionth time, he mentally went through each of the spells he knew, searching for one, just one, that might soothe hiccups. "I could try Silence," he had said, smiling, leaning down to speak softly into her cute little ear.

She’d laughed again and opened her mouth to say something probably funnier, but another hiccup cut off whatever joke she was going to make. He chuckled anyway, and then, without thinking, kissed her cheek because it was pink. Hic.

Pirate John's parrot had been next. He had named it Northerner, apparently hoping for a repeat of the bat attack, but on Elini instead of Te'ijal. Rhen had given Dameon a significant look which he failed utterly to comprehend, until he happened to be in the same room as the pirate when Elini walked in.

"Pirate John," the demon summoner had said, tilting her head at him, "are you not going to ask me for a kiss?"

John had opened his mouth to protest, but was interrupted by a loud squawk.

"Kiss! Kiss!" the parrot had chanted.

"Well I" the pirate had started, then shook his head angrily. "You are"

"Beeeauty! Squawk!"

"I yes, but"

"Kiss! Kiss!"

Elini had smiled. "Very well, Northerner." And Pirate John was kissed.

Rhen had been watching from the doorway, and now entered and gave Dameon another significant look which, this time, he entirely understood. Or he had thought he did, until she crossed the room and said softly to him, her breath like a butterfly on his ear, "Maybe if you make dinner, I will give you a kiss."

And then he had turned red and become so flustered that he found no response was possible, so he opted to hide in the kitchen and chop up some onions, which proved to be a much less emotional experience than being near Rhen ever was.

Galahad had bought a dog next, "for hunting," but the dog much preferred to be wagging its tail and slobbering all over everyone. Lars claimed to find it disgusting, and could always be heard to shout "No!" very angrily whenever the dog approached him. But still, the dog could always be found under his seat at dinner, and it was always in the same room as him, and it soon responded to being called No so well that Dameon couldn't remember the name Galahad had given it, or if he even had named it.

What he could recall, very well, was when No chewed up everyone's boots, and all the furniture in the drawing room, and Lars's cloak. This incident was, in fact, the reason the party was running all over Sedona that day. A cat, Dameon thought to himself, would not have behaved that way. A cat might have clawed at the furniture, but it at least wouldn't have slobbered all over it

"What are you thinking, Dameon?"

He turned, startled, and met Rhen's deep violet eyes.

"I was thinking" he struggled to compose himself, to focus. "It was only it was not anything important."

She narrowed her eyes at him and he felt the color rising in his face, and then, blessedly, she turned back to the chair she had been examining. "I want a pet."

"Another?" He thought immediately and hopefully of the kitten, but said nothing more.

"Yes," she said with a determined little nod. "I want the tiger from Veldt." Before he could begin to be disappointed, Rhen let out a charming little sigh. "She is so graceful, and fierce..."

All his self-control could not prevent the smile that formed at this. "Like you, Rhen."

And he was glad that he said it, because now her cheeks were pink and she was smiling, too. "I want to name her Spots."

"You can't do that!" Mad Marge interrupted violently, throwing down the chair she had been looking at (Dameon supposed they were buying that one now). "Tigers are striped!"

But Rhen already knew this, and thought it was funny. Anyway, the bar maid was a fool to think she could dissuade Rhen from anything once she had resolved on it; the tiger was in their manor within the week.

So, by the way, was the chair Marge had thrown, and he found it rather abruptly one early morning while attempting to pace the house (a habit he'd formed at the Sun Temple and couldn't break, even here, even now). If he hadn't been so lost in his own head, if he hadn't been remembering the quiet tenderness of Rhen's voice when she asked him to forgive his mother, her insistent arguments, the soft, trusting certainty in her violet eyes when she told him he had a good heart, if he had been thinking of anything else instead, he might have seen the chair before he tripped over it.

But he wasn’t, and he didn't, so he and the chair and the chair's occupant all ended up inelegantly piled on the floor.

"Good morning," grumbled a female voice in such a tone as to suggest it wasn't.

"Sorry, Rhen," he said, struggling to his feet and taking her hand to help her up. "I... did not see you."

"That's okay. I guess I shouldn’t have put the chair right in the hallway," she said, and her cheeks were a soft pink. She hadn't let go of his hand yet. "Why are you up so early, anyway?"

He shrugged and tried to pretend he hadn't been thinking of her— their hands were still together and he realized he was holding his breath. "I am always up early," he said. Then, "Why were you in the chair?"

He cursed himself for asking because now she took her hand out of his to put the chair back on its legs. Then she tucked her unbraided hair behind her ears, and looked at her feet, and finally mumbled, embarrassed, "Er... Spots pushed me off the bed."

He really, truly tried to stop himself, but she was so enchanting and mortified, he had to laugh.

"Urgh," she protested, hiding her now very pink face in his chest.

"At least now you are awake to watch the sunrise," he said, wrapping his arms around her happily.

"I guess," she mumbled into his robes.

"Come. We can watch it by the sea. It will be beautiful." He let go of her and slowly took her hand in his again. She let him, and they made their way out into the cool morning air and down to the southern beach.

The sky was a wistful blue, dark and pale at once. A few stubborn stars, like feeble fairy lights, were strewn across it. Shopkeepers were wearily setting up their stores, making slight noises like the ghosts of day's bustle. The most prominent sound was that of the sea, pushing and pulling, advancing and retreating, over and over

"Let's stand in the waves," Rhen whispered excitedly. So they took off their shoes and let the water run over their feet. Dameon thought it tickled, but Rhen's face was so happy and peaceful, he said nothing.

A few seabirds flew around them, sometimes coming to rest on the water, sometimes diving into it, making joyful splashes that sounded somehow like Rhen's laugh. The air still held the faint chill of night, and a playful breeze blew Rhen's loose hair about. To the east, a rosy glow was rising from the sea, cradled by a soft purple shadow, delicate and powerful, like

He glanced at her, and he felt his face turn the color of the glow. The timid lights reflected in her eyes like tiny pieces of sunshine, and it made him think the sun might be beautiful again. She could make the sun beautiful again. If he ever lost her no, no, no

Suddenly the rosy glow brightened into a glorious white light, strong and tender, covering everything or it seemed to be everything, and his heart was beating faster and his breath was caught in his throat but it was only to the east. And slowly, softly, the sun made its way into the world. And it wasn't cold anymore.

"It is beautiful," Rhen said breathlessly.

But the sunrise wasn't the reason his chest ached, and he said, hoarsely, "It is nothing compared to you."

She blushed and looked down.

"Rhen... I've been thinking about what you told me, about my... mother." It was still hard to say the word.

Her hand on his shoulder kept him steady. "What did you decide?"

"I... don't know. I think... it might be possible to forgive her... someday."

She smiled softly and he was all right. "Come on. Let's get back home before our companions wreck the house."

So they did, and on the way back she saw him looking in the pet shop window again, and she bought the cat.

"Rhen"

"Don't try to protest! Here, hold her so I can lean on you." She yawned and Dameon fumbled with the mewling little kitten that was now in his hands, grateful and amazed and speechless. "I'm so tired," Rhen said. Her arm was wrapped around his and her head was on his shoulder. Then, faintly, "What are you going to name her?"

When he could speak again, he answered, "Softly," and Rhen smiled just like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eeeeeyyyy as per usual I wrote a thing that goes near the beginning so that's on the first page and it's called "Me Too" and it's in the same post as "In The Dark," or you can also read it on fanfiction.net at this link if that's easier: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12094251/5/In-Pieces

And because I always feel bad when I make people read things all out of order, here's the next piece too! It's another older one, and another silly one; the title is again more fitting than it has any right to be. 

_____________________________________________

Ridiculous

They are just children, okay, and sometimes they should be allowed to act childish. So here is a ridiculous piece where they are. Also, I think when two people love each other, in any capacity, they both have to humble themselves over silly things, and apologize, and forgive once in a while. This can be hard, and that is exactly why love is so beautiful. And ridiculous. Also, I think only Dameon and maaaaybe Te'ijal would like reading, and some of the others depending on the book, but Rhen most definitely hates it.

________________________________________

Rhen was sitting on the couch beside Dameon while he read one of his boring books. Softly, the cat, was curled up in his lap, apparently content to sit and do nothing for ten, twenty, fifty-five million minutes.

Rhen did not feel the same. She wanted to do something. Normally while Dameon was reading, she was dueling with Galahad in the practice yard, or wrestling her tiger Spots, or eating. But Galahad was busy running around the dining room table with Te'ijal. Spots was napping with No in the hallway. And Rhen couldn't eat, because the kitchen was empty, because Dameon was supposed to go shopping with her today, but he hadn't yet because apparently his book was too interesting to put down, and he had read "one more chapter" twice already, and she was going crazy.

And that is why, after trying to be patient for a much shorter amount of time than she would like disclosed here, she reached out to poke him in the ribs.

Now, in the past he had always stiffened when she touched him, sometimes even moved away. At first she had thought he just didn't like her in his space, but she had come to understand that he just wasn't really used to that kind of stuff. His way of expressing affection was all slowness and solemnity. So she tried to be sensitive and patient with him, and gradually he had seemed to grow comfortable with her and with the normal, ridiculous, impulsive way emotions were supposed to be expressed.

But when she poked him, he yelled and jumped at least three feet, sending Softly darting out of the room. He shoved the book between himself and Rhen, looking at her with wide, shocked eyes like she'd somehow deeply and absolutely betrayed him. "What are you doing?"

"Calm down, Dameon," she said, bewildered at such an undignified response from him. "I was only teasing."

He blinked, and slowly settled back down into the seat, letting the book fall down into his lap while a pink blush crept up his ears. "You just startled me," he mumbled, unconvincingly.

She narrowed her eyes at him and he shifted uncomfortably, quickly picking up his book again and staring hard at it.

But she knew that he wasn't reading it anymore, because it was upside down. This was very strange behavior, considering how entranced he had previously seemed, and she was overwhelmed with curiosity. She could think of only one explanation for his reaction. And there was only one way to know for sure.

She had to poke him again.

She did it quickly, stealthily, so that he had no chance to move away. He yelped, leaping off the couch and spinning around to face her, holding the book in front of him like a shield.

"That isn't funny, Rhen!"

But clearly it was, because her eyes were wet from how hard she was laughing. "Dameon!" she cackled gleefully, jumping to her feet and stepping towards him. "You're ticklish!"

"I am not!" he protested, but he was backing away from her and blushing furiously.

"Yes, Dameon, you are!" she said, taking hold of the book and tossing it aside before he could object, tickling his stomach before he could move to defend himself.

"No!" he squealed, doubling over and trying to push her away, to no avail. "Stop, stop!" he cried between wild peals of laughter. "Please! No!"

She had never heard him laugh like this, with such wild, helpless abandon, and the sound made her laugh, and the way his eyes scrunched up made her smile.

"Please st-t-o-p!" he was begging, but Rhen knew how to be merciless. "I'll I'll tickle you!" he threatened, now reaching for her stomach.

"Ha! I am not ticklish!" she crowed, and continued her ruthless onslaught.

"N-o-o—“ he gasped, stumbling backwards into the kitchen in a futile attempt to escape her.

"Dameon," she said, stopping her tickling abruptly, "watch out for"

Galahad yelled something unintelligible and dodged around them, and then Te'ijal jumped over them and flipped mid-air, landing lightly on her feet, and Dameon was looking sideways at her and taking a step away

"Get back here!" Rhen said, ducking under Serpent Spawn to chase Dameon out of the dining room and into the hall. She saw Elini staring after them, and she wondered briefly if she ought to behave as she was, and then she was past her and past wondering, and then, she caught him because Mad Marge was exiting the kitchen while he was trying to turn into it

"No— no— pl-e-e-a-se," he howled, sinking to the floor and curling up, trying to shield himself from her— but she just kneeled beside him and tickled his neck.

"You'll have to try harder than that, Dameon," she chuckled while he squirmed until she could tickle his back and then his stomach again.

"P-l-ea-se!" he laughed. "What do you want? What do you- w-a-n-t?"

"Take me shopping!" she said, tickling the foot that was kicking at her.

"Okay! Oka-a-y!" he gasped. "Stop! Stop!"

But she didn't, even though Lars was walking by and rolling his eyes at them, muttering, "You two are so weird."

Dameon laughed harder, helplessly trying to bat her hands away. "St-o-o-o-p! —  Rhen! I said o-o-kay!"

"But I like tickling you," she said, grinning and tickling under his chin.

"N-o-o! Stop! Stop!" he suddenly shoved himself off the floor and onto his feet, and she sat back dazed for a moment trying to comprehend what had just happened while he ran down the hall and into the library.

"Dameon, come back!" she called, scrambling to her feet, but he was closing the door and she could already hear the lock clicking.

She knocked. "Dameon, let me in!"

"No!"

"Okay, I'll stop tickling you!" she promised, almost meaning it.

He didn't answer.

"Dameon?"

Again, silence. She frowned.

"Dameon, what's the matter?"

She could almost feel his sullenness through the door.

"Come on, Dameon, don't be silly. I was only teasing."

He was still quiet and she considered getting Pirate John to pick-lock the door. But then she remembered that their pick lock didn't work on doors. Anyway, Dameon was probably reading, and he wouldn't like having her burst in on him. Well, fine, then she would give him something to read.

"Lars!" she called, turning back towards the dining room where she could hear the sorcerer arguing with Galahad over the existence of magic. "Can I borrow some paper and a quill?"

"What?" Lars said, in a tone that indicated more annoyance than curiosity.

Rhen poked her head in the dining room and said in her most stubborn voice, "I want to write a note."

Lars shrugged. "Paper is in the top drawer of my writing desk and the quill is on top."

"Great, thank you!" Rhen said, turning to run back down the hall.

She heard Lars yell "Don't spill any ink!" after her, and then she was getting the stuff (and she did not even almost spill the ink, thank you!)

Dear Dameon, she wrote. Please put down your book and read this note. I want to go shopping so I can eat. I am very hungry. She frowned. That wasn’t quite true. Actually I am just bored, she corrected, but I still want to shop with you. I promise not to tickle you anymore. Please do not be mad. I was only teasing.

She signed her name, and slipped the note under the library door. She heard a heavy sigh, and the rustle of the paper being picked up. Then it was quiet, long enough for Rhen to wonder if she'd written something insensitive. And then there were footsteps moving away from the door, and more rustling, and the footsteps came back.

But the door didn't open; instead the paper poked out from underneath it. "What?" Rhen said, surprised. She took the paper and was about to shove it under the door again, but she noticed that there was more writing on it than before.

Dear Rhen, it said, in neat, looped letters. I did not think it was funny. I do not like being tickled. I am not mad but I do not want to talk to you right now. And then he had signed his name.

Rhen frowned, and wrote quickly, But I want to talk to you, then shoved the note under the door again.

She heard Dameon mumble something in his low, serious voice, and the note came back. Do not tickle me.

She almost laughed, because he was being silly. But... when she got upset over silly things, he always soothed her and helped her. So she swallowed hard to get her pride down her throat, and wrote, Okay, I'm sorry.

And she sent the note under the door again.

She waited forever for it to come back. He probably thought she was ridiculous. Well, she was a little ridiculous. But she didn't like for him to think so

The door opened and he was looking down at her with his stupid dark eyes that made her bones turn into jelly.

"I'm I " he looked at the ground. "I overreacted. I'm sorry."

She nodded, and tried to reach for his hand but she was too nervous. "That's okay," she said. "Er do you forgive me?"

He looked at her again and smiled. "Of course." Then he pulled her into a hug, so she knew everything was all right again. She pressed her face into his robes, carefully. "Do you want to go shopping now?" he mumbled into her hair.

And his breath on her ear... tickled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I caught up again! And I have a VERY long reply to go with it, lol. Overall - I loved this fic, I love how well you handle all the different tones and incorporate the various characters. Watching your Rhen and Dameon progress has been fantastic and I'm excited for more!

Now, chapter by chapter:

Me Too: I love Rhen trying to rationalize totally being afraid of the scary cave stories. I would be the exact same way in her shoes LOL. “which was highly insensitive and presumptuous, Rhen thought.” I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. Oh my gosh this chapter overall was just SO SWEET at the end and I absolutely adore it.

Chocolate: Gonna start with I love Te’ijal being described as “harmless for once” – I absolutely adore how you characterize her, oh my gosh. “and now— her cheeks were warm too.” is SO cute and sweet and fits so well with the line hshfghs I love it <3. OH MY GOSH I was not expecting the kiss, I was shocked he was being so forward like that. It’s adorable. I love the idea of Rhen not having tried chocolate before, also? It’s something that I’m so used to having available that I never would have considered not being ubiquitous, so it’s a really nice piece of worldbuilding!

Reckless: And she needed to be stronger, because the world was getting bigger and scarier all the time.” Oh gosh, what an opener. You do so well making Rhen so strong and powerful while also emphasizing that the world is dangerous and terrifying right now and it’s a lot for her to have to face. I love how well you consistently balance chosen one stuff through the fic! I love Rhen wanting to fight and not being able to. Self care is important, Rhen, your friends can handle themselves for five minutes! Also, oh gosh, Dameon being mad at himself for not being fast enough is </3. They’re all just trying their best!

Given the Choice: Oh man the feeling where you tell people to do something kind of hoping they don’t but they just go for it… It shouldn’t sting as much as it does, but it does, and I think you captured Rhen’s response to it well. Also I love her needing to sulk about the ring, tbh, she would and she’s earned it I think. I LOVE HER THINKING ABOUT BATTLE AND HELPING PEOPLE AND HOW MUCH SHE LOVES IT…. her like, uncertainty and ambivalence is written so well in this fic, I really love your take on Rhen and her conflicting emotions about her life! Also, the fact that Dameon is the one person who keeps coming up in these thoughts portrays his importance to her really well and naturally. “Rhen just flaunted her sword a bit and no one bothered them.” is SO fun, I love it. And I love them making their own special dinner!! It’s so cute and domestic. The dessert ending is so, pun intended, sweet. I like how she gets to take a breather from thinking about real serious stuff and instead get to relax and enjoy herself.

Do You Mind?: Lars’s characterization re: Veldti attention is SO spot on and I IRL cackled reading it. He can handle himself indeed. And Galahad caught between a rock and a hard place, oh my god, I love it. Rhen trying to navigate jealousy is kind of cute, honestly. Not to say that jealousy is cute! But it’s obvious she’s just trying to find a healthy way to deal with her frustrations and, in the nicest way possible, I like seeing her flounder. “Look at that cactus!”

Serious Matters: Oh my god I love your take on Rhen’s ridiculous game quest decisions being jokes. That’s so fun and suits her so well. I’d always taken them at face value, but the idea that she’s being intentionally absurd to lighten the tense mood of the quest… well, it’s sweet, and it’s charming, and it is quite frankly hilarious! I think the pirate sails is my favorite of the jokes, though, oh my gosh. And Galahad telling them they can’t dock at Sedona with them only makes it funnier.

Back and Forth: Gosh, you always make me feel for Dameon! I really love the somber way you develop his relationship with his family. You’re doing so well at developing it bit by bit and I love watching him slowly come to understand Talia just a little more. The bit about the dragon possibly killing him… Well, ouch, quite frankly. 💔 I always laugh at him for being so weak in battle and you made me take a new look at that, too! RHEN AS THE DRUID OF STRENGTH IS SUCH A COOL IDEA, OH MY GOSH. Also immortals getting upset about their mortal friends/family/partners/etc eventually dying is SO upsetting and I’ve never thought to apply it here so, 1) nice choice, 2) woah, just, woah. THE BRAID YOUR HAIR BIT AT THE END AAAA.

Softly: TE’IJAL NAMING THE BAT SERPENT SPAWN SO IT ATTACKS GALAHAD IS THE FUNNIEST THING I’LL READ ALL WEEK. Thank you. LARS WITH THE DOG IS SO CUTE OH MY GOSH….. Also Dameon wanting a cat and Rhen wanting a tiger is so good, RHEN WANTING A TIGER IS JUST SO GOOD, also her saying she’s going to name it Spots and Marge correcting her is fantastic. I love it. Also Spots pushing Rhen off the bed is such a cute concept (and Rhen trying to sleep in a bed with a tiger is so absurd and adorable).

Ridiculous: RHEN WRESTLING A TIGER IS SO MUCH TO TAKE IN. Oh my god I love it. “But... when she got upset over silly things, he always soothed her and helped her.” Awwwh. I kinda love see them act like ridiculous kids who are still learning how to deal with each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@darwin Aaahhh thank you! I will now respond to literally everything as usual and it will as usual be heckin long; thank you for this opportunity to rant about what I love. 

Me Too: Yayy good I am so glad you liked that line, I'm always worried that when I write Rhen being slightly irritated with anyone or anything that it comes across as ME being irritated and I love them all so I really don't mean that, glad it was enjoyable! And thank you aaahhhhh

Chocolate: Te'ijal is a treasure and I'm so glad I can do her justice at all! THANK YOU for liking that line, it was one of the ones I fretted over haha. And I'm so glad the chocolate/kiss came off sweet, I feel like a liar confusing Rhen and readers like that but it was for the greater good

Reckless: AGAIN thank you, another line I almost deleted 80 times at least. And thank you, that's what I was going for and it's so nice to know it's working a little!! And don't be heartbroken, there is fluff coming up I promise (and some angst later but FLUFF WILL PREVAIL)

Given the Choice: Aaahhh you are making me too happy, I will burst. Rhen is my fave, thank you so much for appreciating my feeble attempts to portray her :kawaii-love: And I'm SO GLAD Dameon's important feels naturally portrayed, sometimes I feel like I'm just writing "AND THEY LOVE EACH OTHER! SO MUCH, THEY ARE LIKE BEST FRIENDS AND THEY'RE GOING TO GET MARRIED!! DID I MENTION THEY LOVE EACH OTHER?!??!?!" so it's nice to know you don't feel beat over the head or anything haha. And I appreciate that pun. So much, thank you

Do You Mind: Again, thank you for appreciating my characterizations, I love these guys so much. And also, really, truly, thank you for appreciating how I tried to show Rhen working through her feelings in a healthy way. One of my favorite things about Rhen and Dameon is that in canon they have these emotions, which I think are very normal things for humans to feel sometimes, but instead of either of them being like "oh, how cute" they both always try to work through their feelings in positive ways, and that effort is what's celebrated. I always worry with this one that I didn't get that across, so it means a lot to me that you noticed <3

Serious Matters: Okay so I used to always see Rhen's ridiculous decisions that way too, until I decided to talk to the Mountain King like, 4 playthroughs ago I think? And Rhen made that joke and I had to reevaluate my entire life, haha. I'm glad you liked the idea!

Back and Forth: Dameon always makes me have feelings too, nice to have someone to suffer with, thanks for joining me. Aahh Rhen's connection to strength is one of my favorite things, and then combined with Dameon's obvious disconnection with it (in the physical form anyway) just makes me <3 <3 And 1) Thank you but 2) I can't really take credit for the idea, it is Dameon's fault. He already has experience with death which I think makes him more prone to this trope, and then also because he's so young and doesn't really have any of the like, stoicism most immortals seem to develop... it just happened itself, you know? 

Softly: THANK YOU FOR LAUGHING I had too much fun naming all the animals, I shouldn't be allowed to write shorts about pets but here we are. Thank you for appreciating all my stupid fluff haha

Ridiculous: Again, this is one that I always worry I didn't make the importance of the "working through it" part clear enough in, so thank you so much for noticing! And thank you so much also for appreciating it, I really can't tell you how much that means to me

________________________________________________________________

Okay I know this post is already long BUT today it has been 2 years since I posted the first oneshot on fanfiction.net so I wanted to celebrate by updating! (I also updated there but I'm much further along, haha)

This next piece is fluffy x18209289088208 so prepare yourself. I wrote it to cheer myself up while writing an angst piece and those ones always get more than their fair share of sap, haha. Also, I am too excited right now to focus on looking for typos so sorry if this piece has any, I promise to return to it soon when I have calmed down XD 

___________________________________

Cough

So, I know Dameon can heal a lot of things and maybe the common cold should be on that list. But... what if it wasn't? And if it wasn't, what if Rhen caught a cold? And what if I wrote a sickeningly fluffy piece about it and threw in lots of horrible teases and wonderfully unrealistic misfortunes that *somehow* turned out fortunate for my shipping purposes? What if?

Some non-important details that might confuse you if I don’t mention them: Rhen's Pa (Taylor) is a shoemaker, and the Sedona manor has a dining room and a kitchen, and said kitchen, for whatever reason, also has chairs and tables in it.

_______________________________________

She was trying her best to save the world, but it was becoming increasingly obvious that her best was decidedly lacking. For one, she really had intended to leave Sedona by now, but there had been one thing after another, and now—

Cough—

Now she was—

Cough—

Sick—

Cough—

"Rhen, are you all right in there?" Dameon's voice sounded muffled through the heavy oak door. Or maybe it sounded muffled because her head was all clogged up.

"I'm fine!" she managed through her dry throat.

Cough!

"Are you— sure?"

She choked down the cough that was trying to escape. "Yeah," she squeaked. "I'm fine."

"Oh— okay. Well— um— breakfast is ready." 

"Okay," she said. "Thank you." And then she grumbled to herself about having to get up at all— and why of all times did she have to catch a cold now? Shouldn't fate grant the chosen one some kind of immunity to stuff like this? Couldn't it just wait until after all this was over?

But no, apparently not. Whatever. She was just going to have to suck it up. She pushed the blankets off herself and sat up groggily, and immediately decided it was too dang cold in this house and she was taking her blanket with her, and that was that.

She looked around the room for her boots, but she couldn't find them. She was too tired and sick for this. What was the point of shoes, anyway? She felt guilty for thinking it; shoes were her Pa's living, after all. But— blast it! They weren't worth all this trouble. Her head was spinning. She was not going to bother with shoes, not today. She exited the room, barefoot, and slammed the door behind her.

It can be difficult to walk down a hall while wrapped up in a large quilt that drags on the ground, especially when said hall is the designated gathering place for a multitude of pets and that multitude includes a tiger and a dog (had No taken her shoes??) and two flappy flying things and also a very cute but very finicky cat. But Rhen was nothing if not perseverant—

Okay, all right, stubborn, she was nothing if not stubborn. But anyway she made it through the hall to the kitchen, where Lars, Elini, and Galahad had tried to start an assembly line for piling food on their plates, and where Pirate John and Mad Marge were ignoring all such attempts at imposing order and were stuffing their faces without discretion.

Briefly she considered joining the latter group, but her nose was stuffy and her lungs were sore and anyway the floor was cold. She wanted to sit down, and that meant she'd need a plate. So to the back of the assembly line she went. 

"Good morning, sword singer," Elini said, noticing her first. "I take it you are a bit tired today?"

Rhen grunted and grabbed a plate.

"M'lady," Galahad began scoldingly, "it is not decent to carry your bedding around like that!"

"Mmph," Rhen argued articulately, then forked a couple pancakes onto her plate. Actually she forked most of the remaining pancakes onto her plate. Because she wanted to.

"Oh, is that Rhen?" Lars said. "I thought Mad Marge must have a sister I hadn't met yet or something."

"Whatever," Rhen yawned. And then she coughed, and dumped a lake of blueberry syrup onto her pancakes.

She dodged around Pirate John and Mad Marge— honestly Mad Marge was terrifying and Rhen didn't want to be anywhere near her, ever— and she went to the dining room to sit down.

Or she tried to.

Instead she nearly ran into Dameon, who was exiting the dining room with his dirty dishes, and she only barely kept her plate of pancakes from spilling all over the both of them.

"Er— hi, Dameon," she said with perfect grace and poise and all that (by which is meant, very little of either).

"Good morning, Rhen," he said, and backtracked to pull out a chair for her—

Except then they were both shoved inelegantly out of the way by a very agitated Galahad, who apparently intended to start his running around the dining room table early today on account of Te'ijal being right behind him— and Dameon's dishes shattered all over the floor, and Rhen's beautiful pancakes mixed in with all the shards of glass, and in spite of all her best intentions her blueberry syrup ended up all over the front of Dameon's robes. She stammered an apology and tried to wipe off the syrup with her hand that wasn't holding a plate, which proved completely ineffective and actually rather counterproductive and also her blanket had slipped off her shoulders and she was cold—

"That's all right," he said, and bent down to pick up her blanket. He wrapped it around her again, and pulled her out of the way of Te'ijal and Galahad who were still running and shouting— and then he took her free hand and she was acutely aware of how sticky her palm was and she felt very foolish and clumsy, and he kissed her fingers and she felt even more stupid, and— now his lips probably tasted like blueberry syrup.

This cold was making her crazy. 

He was frowning down at her, and pressing her hand between both of his, and then he put the back of his hand to her forehead, and drew his eyebrows together.

"Rhen," he chided, "you're running a fever."

She blushed guiltily. "It's just a stupid cold."

"You need rest," he said, looking very serious and resolute and also unduly— well, cute, and you know, maybe he was right because she really ought to have a better hold on herself.

But she tried huffing indignantly anyway. Unfortunately it came out as more of a cough, and his face did not change. Not even a little.

"It won't do anyone any good if you exhaust yourself," he said firmly. 

So she tried glaring. 

That was a stupid idea because he never could withstand her glares for very long, and now he looked flustered and his lips were parted and—

If nothing else, she had to get ahold of herself so that she didn't get him sick, too.

She sighed. "Fine! Fine! I'll rest. After I get more breakfast." She turned on her heel to do that, but he caught her shoulder and she whirled back around to face him— she had miscalculated and there was his face, right in front of her and very close and also very pink—

"Don't— don't step on the glass—" he stammered, and then he was interrupted—

"DARK CREATURE! WHEN WILL YOU CEASE TORMENTING ME??!" Galahad sped past them again, with Serpent Spawn close behind him, and the fragments of Dameon's plate crunched beneath his heavy boots—

"You are so appetizing when you flirt, lambchop!!" Te'ijal answered, neatly leaping over the now-even-more-scattered glass and continuing her chase. 

Rhen stared down at the glittering shards— there was no way she could leap over them like Te'ijal, especially not in her blanket. "Of all the days to not wear my stupid boots," she muttered angrily, and hit her forehead against the nearest thing— which was Dameon's chest. Which still had blueberry syrup all over it. And now there was syrup all over her forehead. Great. She pouted. "How am I supposed to get out of here?"

Dameon looked thoughtful, and then he looked embarrassed, and he had to clear his throat a couple times before he could say, "Well— I could— I could carry you out."

She almost laughed. Dameon, carrying her, with syrup all over his robes and her wrapped up in her stupid blanket with her toes poking out the ends— and his arms wrapped around her and his chin resting on her hair and—

"Can you even lift me?"

He blushed. "I— you— I've carried you before."

"What? No, you haven't!" That was impossible, she would remember that.

"After battles, when you pass out— I— I have to get you somewhere safe somehow! I— it isn't— um—   it’s just—" he stopped himself and seemed to catch his breath and looked down. "I'm sorry, I am being very foolish. I just— would you like me to carry you?"

Well. She would like that very much, but for all the wrong reasons.

"Yes, please."

Too late, it was out of her mouth.

He could lift her— she squeaked when her feet left the floor, and his robes were even more sticky than she had thought, and she knew she looked completely ridiculous cocooned in her quilt, with her empty plate balanced precariously in her lap and syrup smeared all over her and her face all pink— because of the cold, of course, and— but—

He was so soft and warm. She snuggled into his sticky chest and felt very safe and contented and she didn't even care much when Mad Marge sneered at them as she passed, and Lars shook his head and Elini smirked and Pirate John winked—

Actually that last one made her a little uncomfortable and she glared at him over Dameon's shoulder. And then Dameon turned the corner into the kitchen, which was now pretty much empty except for a considerable mess caused by the eating habits of a certain bar maid. Rhen moved to slide to the floor but instead Dameon set her neatly in a chair. And then— he was smiling at her and leaning down and she didn't know if she was terrified or elated—

But he only kissed her forehead. Then he laughed, and she noticed that he definitely had syrup on his mouth now.

"You are very sticky today," he told her. Then he looked at his robes. "I'm very sticky today!"

She started to laugh, but then she was coughing again and—

He rubbed her back, carefully, until her chest relaxed and the coughing stopped, and he mumbled, "I'm sorry Rhen, I— I wish I could do more."

"Don't be silly," she said hoarsely, absently rubbing at the syrup on her forehead with the hand that was less sticky.

"Here, let me—" he said, and before she could quite figure out what he meant he had turned around and was pumping water onto a dishtowel, and then he was turning back around and scrubbing her forehead with it, and then her hands, and she felt clean and also red. Definitely red.

She tried to think of something normal to say but all she could think of was syrup, and instead she said, "Don't forget you," and she reached out to poke his mouth—

And he was red, too, and finallyfinally he scrubbed the syrup off his lips, and now she could stop thinking about it.

Actually not really. Actually not at all.

He had turned around again, taking her plate this time, and he was putting the last two pancakes on it— only two— and pouring the rest of the syrup on them, and then he slid the plate in front of her, and—

"I guess I should go change. And—" his eyes swept over her, "and I'll get you another blanket. That one's all— sticky—"

It was, but only on the outside, and it was probably going to get stickier when she ate these pancakes—

But he was gone before she could say any of that.

The pancakes had gotten cold by now. But they were still delicious. 

She wanted more.

She glared at the empty counters— well, they were empty besides the mess. What she should do was help clean. It wasn't like Mad Marge was going to come back in and do it. And Te'ijal and Galahad were still running around the dining room table and they weren't likely to stop soon (she could hear their shouting, and Galahad's boots crunching the broken glass). Pirate John might be back to help straighten things up later, before lunch, and if he came Elini would come. And maybe Lars would help, if he was bored enough.

He probably wouldn't be. 

She growled, and pushed her chair away from the little table. She didn't know why there were extra tables in the kitchen. For storage, maybe? For servants to eat their meals on? Who knew!

She choked back a cough and stood up. The floor was still freezing. She trudged towards the counters, her blanket dragging behind her—

Actually it was catching on something. She whirled around to un-catch it from whatever fiendish piece of furniture was impeding her progress—

It was just Softly, the cat, chasing after the end of the blanket like she might chase a string, or like she sometimes chased Dameon's robes.

"Softly!" Rhen protested. "My blanket is not a toy!" 

"Meorw!"

Rhen gathered her blanket up around her, the same way she had to gather her skirts when she wore those poofy dresses which for whatever reason were so fashionable here in Sedona— but Softly just jumped after the blanket, purring. Purring!

"I'm trying to work, Softly!"

"Meow!

She huffed angrily, but— the cat kept chasing her! "Can't you go pick on No or something?"

"Meow."

Rhen tried hiding behind a chair, but Softly followed. Rhen climbed up on the chair— and Softly was still following her! She put her foot up on the table—

"Rhen, what are you doing?"

Dameon tried to rush into the room, but instead he smacked his head against the doorframe and looked very disoriented and unbalanced and like he was strongly considering falling over—

She jumped off the table, letting her quilt fall behind her (to Softly's great delight)— and she slipped under his arm. He was holding a clean blanket so this was no small feat, especially when her head was all cloggy.

"I've got you," she said, and then— she coughed violently into his chest. Some hero she was. 

But he just said, "Thank you," and he rubbed her back again and pulled the new blanket around her— it was very warm, and soft— and Softly promptly left off playing with the sticky blanket and slinked over to bat at the new one.

Cough.

"You'd better sit back down," he said, but he was still leaning on her dizzily and she scoffed.

"You'd better sit down!" 

Cough! Cough! 

"Okay!" she relented. "I'd better sit down! But Dameon," she pouted, "Softly won't leave me alone!"

He looked down at the cat, who was now making a great show of trying to climb Rhen's blanket like a curtain— not that she was allowed to climb curtains, but she did, either way. 

Dameon laughed, and bent down to pick up Softy. And Rhen felt a little betrayed, which was ridiculous, but—

"She just wants to play," he told her. 

Rhen glared at the cat. The cat purred back, and rolled over in Dameon's arms to bat her tiny paws at Rhen.

No. Rhen was not going to be fooled by this show, this manipulation dressed as charm.

"Look at her!" Dameon cooed. He obviously was fooled by this show.

Rhen hmphed. Just because she wasn't cute like the cat!

She didn't want to look at Softly. She wanted to eat more, and to take a long nap in the sun and wake up feeling warm and not sick— 

"She wants you to hold her, Rhen," Dameon said, and plopped the cat into her arms. 

Rhen went rigid. She did not want to hold the cat

Softly's tail brushed against her face. 

"Hey!" Rhen protested.

"Meorrw!" 

Softly batted at a loose lock of Rhen's hair, and curled against her chest and purred and was very— well, soft. And warm. Which Rhen appreciated. And— she didn't really like glaring that much, anyway, so instead she smiled and looked up at Dameon. "I guess she is pretty sweet."

Dameon smiled and looked at least as cute as the cat, and then he said, "Thank you for getting her, Rhen. It— was very thoughtful of you."

Rhen blushed, and then he leaned down to kiss her cheek and she felt like her face was going to burn off— and him cleaning the syrup off his mouth had definitely not helped even a little, and she really, really needed to sit down now.

Cough! Cough!

Softly jumped out of her arms and she coughed harder and harder. "Dameon—"

He was already picking her up again, "It's okay, Rhen. You just need rest."

"It— hurts—" she coughed, huddling into the blanket, hiding her face in his chest. She knew she was being a baby. It was just a cold. But her throat was sore and her lungs were tired and—

"I know, Rhen," he was saying gently. "I'm sorry." And he really did look sorry, which made her feel a bit better even though everything still ached.

"Can you— can you make me some lemon water?"

"Lemon water?" He was putting her back in the chair, and sitting beside her.

"Lemon— cough— and water, and honey. Ma used to make it for me when I was sick."

"Lemon water," he repeated quietly to himself. "I can try that."

They had a huge crate of lemons— Mad Marge had insisted on it, yelling something about scurvy and landlubbers and other strange words of that sort. Rhen had objected to it at the time, seeing as someone was going to have to carry the crate, but she was glad to have it now. 

Dameon found a jug, and he started squeezing some of the lemons into it. But he obviously had no idea what he was doing, and he kept dropping the lemons or getting the juice all over his hands instead of in the container. Rhen thought it was very cute and she couldn't help giggling at him, which made him smile and she liked that, too.

"I'm going to be all sticky again," he said, trying to squeeze another lemon. He was starting to get it, sort of— 

And then it slipped out of his hands and onto the table. He grinned at her sheepishly. "Oops."

She laughed and picked up the lemon to hand it back to him.

But then her stomach growled.

And she got an idea that was either brilliant, or stupid.

She licked the lemon.

It tasted horrible, sour and— sour, just unforgivingly sour—

But the juice felt so nice going down her throat. So she licked it again.

Dameon stared at her. "Is that— good?"

"It's wonderful," Rhen said, now peeling the lemon to get a wedge.

He watched her eat it, and then, hesitantly, peeled out a wedge of the lemon he was squeezing. He slowly brought it up to his mouth, and bit down—

And his face puckered, which was an entirely new expression for him, and Rhen laughed and leaned towards him without thinking about it—

Cough! Cough!

She was going to lose a lung this way—

Cough!

"Rhen—" He stood quickly, and he was rubbing her back, and checking her temperature— "You really should be in bed."

Her chest was too sore to argue. She held out her arms and he picked her up, carefully, like she was made of flower petals, but she didn't mind today because she felt fragile. She felt like she might come apart starting at her lungs— and this was the third time that he was carrying her, and she thought maybe she'd have to start making him carry her everywhere.

Maybe not. Maybe she'd better make these decisions when she didn't have a fever. She ought to at least wait until she wasn't cocooned in a blanket like a very large and helpless caterpillar.

When he got to her room he had to fumble with the doorknob— she didn't know why she felt the need to slam her door this morning. But he got it open, and he carried her inside and laid her gently on her bed, and kneeled beside her to help arrange her blankets. And she was coughing again—

"The lemon water—" she remembered, and tried to sit up—

"I'll bring you a glass," he promised, brushing her bangs out of her face. 

"But I'm— still hungry, too—"

"I'll bring you food." He didn't even look annoyed, that was the strange part. "Please, Rhen. Rest. You can go back to saving the world tomorrow."

"I don't know— if I can." So far it wasn't working out so well.

"do." His voice was soft but his gaze was firm— he really believed she could, even after all the disasters she'd been a part of. Like today, today definitely counted as a disaster. But—

It was hard to doubt him, when he looked like that. And he was always beside her, helping her through all her messes, even when all he could do was rub her back and try to squeeze the juice out of a bunch of stupid lemons.

She settled back into her pillows. He was going to take care of her, her best didn't have to be enough for today.

She wanted to say thank you, for all of that, but she didn't know where to start and she didn't have the patience, so she held out her arms towards him and muttered, "Come here."

He did, very hesitantly, and she hugged him and kissed his cheek.

And if he could have just kept his mouth in a straight line after that, she might have been able to forget about it and sleep, but instead she thought of the little his lips made for the rest of the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×