The former alliance king wore a look of concern but not for anything of grave importance or something that would prick his conscience. No, this look of concern was more….
"Varian! Come in the house this instant, it's getting late and you know how your mother gets."
Anduin warned, standing up for his chair which was seated on the porch of their small cottage. A far cry from the castles and the winding hall of stormwind. Or perhaps even a greater difference from the tunnels of undercity or the sprawling metropolis of silvermoon.
" Yes sir," the young boy sighed, as he came towards the house along with his twin, who followed closely behind.
" Why did I have to come father? You didn't even call me." the other boy asked.
" Lirath, everyone on the planet knows that anywhere your brother goes you go well. One would think that he was your older brother even though you are indeed twins." Anduin laughed before ruffling his son's hair.
Lirath attempted to hide his embarrassment, "That's not true father." Lirath said.
"Sure it isn't." Anduin smiled as he opened the front door of his cottage to see Slyvanas preparing dinner.
" Late as always, boy king. Is it not bad enough that you influence our sons with this same tardiness?" Sylvanas asked sarcastically, before kneeling down and giving her sons a huge hug.
" Mother!" They both said in unison, feeling slightly embarrassed by the large amounts of affection they were receiving from their mother.
" Oh please, you two will always be my babies for as long as you live. You should be honored to be the former warchiefs children." She chuckled.
" Well considering that sometimes you can be off your rocker would I really consider that an honor?" Anduin teased, only to be punched in the arm by his wife
" I didn't find that very humorous Anduin!" She said,
" It looks like father is in trouble with mother again." Varian laughed.
" I don't think that's anything new. When isn't he getting in trouble with mother? Do you remember the time when mother shot an arrow at father?"Lirath smiled.
" How could I forget my son? The infamous day where I simply commented on your mothers cooking and said was a little bit cold." Anduin smiled as he sat at the dinner table along with the rest of his family.
" It was a rude comment to say the least and you know how to say things like that to me! Also the way you said it bothered me, you could've said it in a very decent way. It seems that humans lack the elegance and respect that Quel dori have. Varian, Lirath, although you are half human, try not to pick up on your fathers lack of elegance." She commanded in her famous warchief tone.
"Yes mother." They both said in unison which was very accustomed for the twins.
" Well Sylvanas I will be the first to say that I apologize to you, I love you and I would never try to intentionally hurt your feelings." He said before getting up and kissing his wife, who at first wanted to act cold in her demeanor but quickly melted in the arms of her husband.
The twins looked at each other in disgust as they made a sound.
" At least wait until we are out of the room!" Varian said, being the one who was very outspoken between the twins and often got him in trouble with his mother. Varian shared more of his mothers personality while Lirath was geared more towards his father.
" Oh hush Varian, how do you think you were made?" His mother retorted.
"Father told me we were made by accident and that at the time you hated him." Lirath blurted out to the dismay of his father who looked embarrassed.
" Now Lirath I didn't exactly put it that way, I said that when you two were born or rather conceived things were very complicated between me and your mother. It didn't go exactly the way I thought it would go. Matter of fact, if you asked me years ago It would've been insane to suggest the idea that I would be with your mother. We were sworn enemies destined to fight on the battlefield. But the light had other plans and that's how you two got here." Anduin explained, hoping that it would lead to an understanding between the twins and also calmed the anger of their mother.
" Anduin, I've told you plenty of times to keep things quiet. Why would you tell them something like that?
" Well Sylvanas it's not good to lie, Varian and Lirath weren't exactly planned.
" So what you're saying is that I only wanted to bed you?" She asked, completely forgetting that her children were in the room and perhaps the conversation was getting into an area that wasn't exactly appropriate for minors.
" Mother, Father,I think we get the picture. After all, we are older now. Thirteen and ten months, so perhaps we are not too young to understand these things." Lirath suggested.
" Thirteen years already? I barely look a day over twenty five! Soon people may start to think that you two are actually my brothers instead of my sons ." Anduin said as he tore off a piece of meat and put it into his mouth,savoring the delicious taste of the animal.
" Well Anduin, you are lightforged after all I would assume you're going to look this way for thousands of years. And a thousand years of me giving these young harlots the same look when they see you. I almost killed a women last week for being too flirtatious with you while we were in
shattrath." Slyvanas replied, before sipping some of her tea.
" Sylvanas, you know how many times I've seen men gawk at you like you're a piece of meat. It's almost insufferable at times."
" But father, if any of those men ever tried anything with mother she would simply kill them. You absolutely have nothing to worry about, however I would have to agree with mother I've seen many women really throw themselves at you." Varian noted as he saw his father sigh in defeat.
" Well that is certainly true, however it doesn't make it right in both instances. I'm just happy that most, if not all who see me in the city don't know that I'm the former king of the alliance. For that reason alone I'm never cutting off my beard. Otherwise it would send shockwaves through the kingdoms. I've actually enjoyed the peace and quiet for the past thirteen years." Anduin said observing his wife nod in agreement.
" It's been very peaceful, aside from raising you two rambunctious children. Well, technically by human years teenagers." She said.
" I don't think that we are actually rambunctious, I would call it adventurous. " Lirath added.
Sylvanas chuckled," like that time you and your brother tried to kill a small fire drake. It was just simply minding it's business. And I remember it like it was yesterday, your father was so serious, however, I actually thought it was quite ambitious after all you are my children,hunting would have to be in your blood." She added proudly.
" I would love to go hunting with you mother, Varian is always going but what about me?" Lirath asked.
" Lirath! You know why! You must continue your studies in the light." She said sternly.
Anduin, knowing the reason for her sternness, put his hand on his son's shoulder. " Although your mother could've said it in a nicer way, your powers in the light are growing every day Lirath. We just believe the light has very great plans in store for you. After all, you're more proficient in the light than I was at your age."
Lirath shook his hand and sighed. " But Varian can use the light as well, why doesn't he have to practice as much as I do?"
" Not as good as you Lirath, nowhere near it." Varian chimed in before rolling his eyes.
Slyvanas sighed before standing up, coming to the side of her son who was technically the youngest by only a few seconds.
" There's a great battle coming and I fear that it may come sooner than we think. Certainly your father is very powerful in the light however we know that in the future, you'll be even more powerful than he is.So if we are to defeat the coming evil and protect our world from the darkness of the Maw, you and your brother must be prepared. This is why I'm so hard on you, it's not out of spite but out of love."
" Yes mother." Lirath smiled slightly, feeling just a tad bit better than he was before.
" Now enough of that, it's time for you two to go to bed don't you think. " Anduin added.
" Father, aren't we a little bit old for a bedtime?" Varian complained as he watched his mother gather the dishes.
" Perhaps it may be more of a suggestion, however I know that we are training early in the morning and light knows how groggily you two get when you don't get enough sleep. The choice is simply yours however if I was you I would be going to sleep right about now. " Anduin said.
"You know Varian, you might have mothers tenacity but you certainly have our fathers lack of motivation to get up early in the morning." Lirath added, seeing that it indeed was getting late.
Varian rolled his eyes before getting up and headed to his room without a word. He certainly shared his mothers attitude as the family observed.
Not too long after, Anduin and Slyvanas sat in their cottage's patio overlooking the great landscape their house sat on. It had just stopped raining which brought a strange clam and a misty scent in the cool night air. Anduin felt a great peace when the weather was like this. It was an escape from his busy life at the moment but he wouldn't trade his life for anything in the world, especially when he had his amazing family.
Slyvanas eyed Anduin before she lifted her head from his chest. " I had the dream again." She stated, feeling his chest move up and down.
The young man sighed." The same exact one?"
" Yes, the exact same one, and it's infuriating but something in my heart tells me that this isn't just a dream. Anduin would I really do something like that?"
Anduin chuckled, " Turn me into a death knight for the purposes of some benevolent being? The old you? Most certainly but now I'm not too sure you would do something like that Slyvanas. However life is certainly unpredictable to say the least, If it happens it happens."
Slyvanas gave him a startled expression. " How could you say such a thing? Are you not worried in the least?."
Anduin shrugged his shoulders. " I guess."
Slyvanas sat up, " Answer me Anduin! Are you okay?"
" I hope so." He said coldly, almost hopelessly but seeing the concerned expression on his wife's face pushed him to answer.
" Ever since my father died I put on a mask for people.I know I always smile, laugh and make jokes but the reality is that I still haven't really gotten over my father's death. Every single day I'm reminded of him in the small things. Yes I've had other people in my life show me love and guidance however nothing quite replaces my father's presence. You always say that I was ignorantly fearless and mentioned it quite often when we were trapped in that world. But the reality is that I didn't really care if I died or not. Certainly not suicidal but if I did die, I asked myself the question, would it really matter?"
Sylvanas didn't know what to make out of this situation, they have been married for fourteen years but Anduin never showed this side to her. Even now his face looked melancholy almost as if his father died yesterday but how could she support him? Slyvanas was never one to open up her feelings to anyone and with Anduin she barely ever showed her deep emotions even after being married for years.
" Anduin why didn't you ever tell me this?"
Anduin turned and gave her a sad smile.
" Sylvanas, you have enough issues on your plate. The same issues that make it hard for me to talk to you about these things because you rather push me away that I actually opened up."
" Because I go through…"
"Phases of falling in and out of love with me, I know. But Sylvanas, it just feels like at times you wouldn't care as much as you could. I know you are your own woman. I knew this when you were pregnant; it's just something I've come to accept. At times you leave the house and don't come back for weeks."
" Anduin you know I love you it's just that I need my…"
"Space." He repeated, hearing it so many times that it's like second nature.
A silence came over the two as the night was filled with sounds of frogs and crickets along with the wind moving past the tree leaves.
"Slyvanas I love you so much and would never leave you and the kids. But it's just that I feel so empty…"
" But why don't you talk to Valeera, she has been one of your best comrades for years?" Slyvanas asked, seeking to remove the pressure from the conversation.
" Sylvanas… Valeera is not my wife. Besides, I wouldn't tell her this information. I sense it cold lead to things that are not appropriate on her end.
" Could you mean.."
Anduin nodded his head, " She is attracted to me which is why I don't talk to her that often."
Slyvanas felt her anger burn. " That daughter of a harlet, I dare she…"
Anduin shook his head." Sylvanas, that's just missing the point, all I'm saying is that I feel so empty and the only thing that makes me feel alive is when I'm with you and the kids. Like a reanimated corpse with one purpose and one purpose only."
Sylvanas shook her head, " You know I'm always here to talk Anduin but we have had issues in our marriage. Quel Dori often don't stay married long because of our life spans. Can you imagine being with one person for centuries? That's a difficult commitment to make especially with our circumstances."
Anduin was silent for a few minutes before responding with a nod before standing up.
" I understand." He said holding back tears but failing as a few slipped out his eyes. " I'll be back, I'm going for a walk."
" Anduin don't be ridiculous, it's dangerous there are beasts that hunt at night!" She said.
" I'll be fine, Slyvanas, it just saddens me. It seems like the only time I feel like you show love is when my life is in danger and the possibility of me not being here anymore scares you. Or when we make love and I have to be the one to say I love you first. But when I'm here it just seems like my presence isn't appreciated."
With the end of his confession Anduin left Sylvanas alone as her emotions got the better of her and she felt incredibly guilty.
" Anduin I need you." She whispered but didn't have the courage to let him know.
Suddenly she heard a sound behind her only to see her son Lirath. She could tell he just woke up by the look of his eyes and as a yawn escaped his mouth.
" Where's father?" He asked as he rubbed his eyes.
Sylvanas gave her son a sad smile before patting the seat next to her. Lirath, knowing what she wanted sat beside his mother before she gave him a big huge.
" He's going to be fine, your fathers just going through a lot but I'll make sure he feels better." She whispered, not knowing if she was truly ready to handle Anduins emotional state?But she would be damned if she didn't try. The future was very uncertain for everyone on azeroth but all she had was her family. And she would do anything to make sure it stayed together.