A fill from the now-deleted Oldschool Bioware Kink Meme on LJ. The prompt was Aerie/charname. Anything else is basically up to you, but whatever happens and whatever point in the relationship, make it waffy please!

He had not spoken to her before he left. Hadn't spoken to anyone. Just one day after the victory at the Tree, she had awoken to find his bed empty.

He had left everything behind. Two heavy bags still stood at the foot of the bed where he had slept, just for that one night. She had pushed them in under the bed after the first day, so she wouldn't have to look at them and be reminded, but then she had pulled them out again when the empty space proved even more worrying.

She had attempted to find him, at first. Searched the city, asked everyone she met, but to no avail.

She had turned to magic, then. Her skill was not insignificant, but once more she found herself denied. It was not surprising. Since Spellhold, it had become increasingly difficult to sense him. Even now, whole once more, he remained slippery, and her efforts had been for nothing.

In the end, she gave up. Convinced herself that perhaps it was better this way. He would not have left in secrecy if he had wanted her to know. And so she tried to ignore the heavy, spiny lump that seemed to sit in the pit of her stomach and enjoy her well deserved rest.

Days had passed, and gradually she had got used to waking up between actual blankets. Used to falling asleep between actual blankets, without having to worry that they may be ambushed in the middle of the night.

She still felt sad and a bit lonely, even amidst friends, but the elves of Suldanessellar cared well for their guests, even with the city in disarray. She could see them rebuilding from her window in the palace, and had even offered to help, but been politely rejected. It was just as well; she didn't know anything about building houses. Didn't know much about anything, really.

Days had passed. Passed, and passed into weeks. Her wounds had long since healed, both body and mind mended after the ordeal at the Tree.

Days had passed, and she scarcely noticed.

No one told her when he returned. All she heard were whispers.

The Child of Bhaal approaches.

She had been uncertain if she had truly heard what she thought she had, if it was just her imagination.

The Child of Bhaal has returned.

It had been all she needed, and she ran through the streets, breathless.

Still, she was late. Instead of being able to welcome him at the gates, she had to content herself with meeting him halfway.

They stopped at an arm's length, both silent for several moments while she attempted to catch her breath.

She had so much to say. So many things to ask, so many things to tell.

But now that she finally saw him again, all she could say was, "You're back."

It seemed to break a spell between them, and he reached out, put a hand around her waist and pulled her close. His shirt smelled of sweat, leather and horses - he must have ridden here, she thought, as she buried her face against his chest. He was - warm. Warm and glowing with some kind of strange vitality that had been lost after that horrible scene in the asylum, but now seemed to have returned even stronger than before.

"I'm back."

She could feel the words rumble against her skin, like the purring of an enormous cat, and suddenly her eyes were stinging. She chewed her lower lip, not sure what brought on these tears, unwilling to let them show here in the middle of the street.

"I-" She swallowed, tried to bring her voice under control. "I - missed you."

He said nothing, but wrapped both arms around her - holding her around the waist with one and stroking her shoulders with the other hand, both carefully avoiding the scars on her back. And so they remained for a while, heedless of the passers-by.

She was the first to pull away. Not because she wanted to, but because she needed to see him to ask what she had to ask.

"Where have you been?" That part was easy. But the next - it had to be a pure question, without accusation or judgment. "Wh- why did you..."

But even though she sought eye contact, he didn't look at her; just stared off into the distance, over her head. His hand remained on her shoulder, his thick, rough thumb slowly stroking her collarbone, but the touch seemed more reflexive than conscious.

"They don't want me here. And I have no love of this place. I can't forget that it's all because of them - everything that happened to us started here."

The words were void of emotion. It would have been better if he sounded angry, she thought. Not just... nothing. She wanted to tell him that he was wrong, that of course he was welcome in a place that only still existed because of his actions, but she could feels tension in the air, feel unseen eyes watching them, and knew that he was right.

There was gratitude, but there was also fear. And now she could scarce believe she had never realized it before.


She should have been able to say something, but the words wouldn't come. She wrapped her hands around his arm instead, held on tight and pressed his hand tighter against her. And then, suddenly, the words were there.

"I want you here."

It didn't come out as loud as she had hoped, just little more than a whisper, but as soon as the words passed her lips, the empty, far-off look faded into a familiar attentive keenness, and he turned his head down to look her in the eyes.

"Sorry. We've had more than enough gloom lately. It's about time I moved on. And..."

He bowed his head a little further, and she thought her heart might have skipped a beat as she felt him press a soft kiss on her forehead.

"...thank you." His lips moved against her skin, his voice low, for her ears only.

She almost had to laugh in delight. But what she did instead was to drape her arms around his neck, so he couldn't pull away again - or if he tried, would pull her along with him. Tilted her head back, rose on her tiptoes, and managed to reach just high enough to meet his lips with her own.

The sky seemed to spin overhead. She closed her eyes and tightened her arms around him, and felt him embrace her again, holding her tightly against his broad chest.

When she opened her eyes again, the sky was still spinning.

It had always made her ache inside, seeing the deep blue above and knowing that she would never again soar through it on her own. But right now, standing there with two strong arms around her, it did not hurt quite as much as it had used to.

It had been a long journey, and she had lost much, but standing on solid ground, as long as there was someone standing next to her, was not as bad as she had first imagined. She did not think she would ever stop missing her wings, but there was no need to miss the sky.

She could still see it just fine from here.