AN - Hi guys! This is my first attempt at a multi-chapter story. It will all be up within the hour, because I have completed it, I'm just finishing editing it. This story is ridiculously angst-y, but has a happy ending. It more or less wrote itself, I stepped back and was like What? How did I write this? Ah well. Reviews mean more than cheese and chocolate combined, so please let me know what you think. I'll let you get on with it now though, xx SaintClaire


The Other Half Of A Deublek

His body thrashes through the current, flexing and bending as the current flips and surges at will, before spitting him out unceremoniously into a wreath of bubbles and trails of white water. He rights himself, shaking tangled hair out of his eyes. It is time to start heading back. Surfing the wildest currents he can find is reckless, and Faro knows it. None of the currents he has found can match the speed and strength of the Great Currents from the crossing of Ingo, but Faro keeps trying. Just for a moment, to recapture the wild joy, lost in streams of bubbles as he and Sapphire laugh; - he will do anything to find it again.

Sapphire doesn't come to Ingo anymore. She is lost to the human world it seems, lost to Connor, and air, and a new baby sister. She has only come back twice since the crossing, and even cradled in the arms of Ingo her thoughts were partly lost to Air.

He misses her.

He has ignored that stupid little voice in his head, the one that tells him to listen to Saldowr, that he shouldn't surf the rogue currents so close to the Mouth Rocks, that Sapphire is his 'little sister' no longer. The little voice certainly cannot be right. What must be right however, is the word of Saldowr. However, his teacher has not said a word about Sapphire to his student, but looks upon him with mild concern in his eyes. His problem is, Saldowr has not said anything. Faro doesn't like to think of himself as prideful, but he will not waste Saldowr's time asking his opinion of Sapphire. He doesn't know his own opinion of Sapphire.

When he is finished with his duties to Saldowr that night, he makes a familiar trip. Winding through the dark waters to the cove, he grips onto a rock and launches himself into the air. Travelling through the skin still burns, but it isn't as painful as the first times. He begins to sing, weaving his melody with the currents and tides of Ingo, ribboned with the moon. Ingo responds to his song, threading her own pattern into Faro's music. Wherever on Norvys or Ingo Sapphire is, she will hear his song.

He sings until daybreak, still hoisted, unmoving on his rock ledge. When the sun breaks the horizon, turning the skin of Ingo gold and the sand of the beach to glitter, the cliffs are still empty. Sapphire is not there. Wordless, Faro slips back to the sea, and begins his daily journey, to find a harsher current.

His friends begin to find mates among the Mer, Bannerys and Malin travel East to the islands, following the dolphins. There is no word from Elvira, even with the seals migrating from the North. Sapphire's friend from the deep, the gentle whale arrives by the Groves of Aleph, asking about Sapphire. Faro tells her the truth, the partner of his deublek hasn't been to Ingo for months.

One night, Faro wakes from his restless sleep with his blood singing. Sapphire is in Ingo. She is far away, where he used to meet her by the town she called St Pirans, which Ingo claimed as it's own when the Tide Knot broke. He sprints to the bay, listening to the sound of her blood beating through the water. He is nearly there when the call becomes quieter, and then disappears. He panics, flying through the water like sea foam, screaming through the water for his friend. He is too late, she is gone. Surging through the skin, he cries out for Sapphire, but the wind carries his words away, carrying them up into the air. In desperation, he combs the water for her, mind racing through possibilities. Perhaps she fell asleep. Perhaps she drowned. He is wrong. Sapphire has left Ingo. He breaks through the skin again, wailing to the moon. She never even called out to him.

It's the day Faro is carried to the healers, bleeding and unconscious that Saldowr speaks up. Blind with rage and disappointment, Faro threw himself headfirst into a current, which in return threw him headfirst into a boulder. He lies crippled in the healers cave for days, unable to move or remember what happened to him. He is almost disappointed when his memories of Sapphire return to him, they cast a weight back on his shoulders that illnesses had lifted from him.

Saldowr urges his student, his metaphorical son to call out one last time. To speak to the gulls, to ask them for news. If nothing comes of his efforts, he should visit his sister, who would enjoy a visit, Saldowr is sure. Faro agrees, privately deciding that his trip to the north will end in Nanqu's jaws.

He breeches the surface in moonlight again, on a calm, clear night. The moon calls to the tide to rush in, and stars glint with memories on the crest of the waves. He begins to sing again, for the final time, pouring everything he can into his voice. His memories, his thoughts, his feelings, all pour into the stream of song rushing from Faro's mouth, with all the power of Ingo behind him. Ingo misses Sapphire as well. As his song ends, in the early hours of daybreak, a human voice rides with the gulls on a breeze that skips over the skin of Ingo. Sapphire's wails, tight with misery and longing echo in Faro's ears. She wants to come, he is sure of it. But she will not. Casting a long, final look at the cove that his life's memories are built on, Faro slips back into the Ingo, racing for the North, and the Nanqu that will find him there.