TITLE: To dance with Lords and Ladies.
PAIRINGS: Hint of S\J and the usual A\B
SPOILERS: None that I know of.
RATING: PG-Little bit of minor language.
WARNINGS: Where sunscreen, look both ways before you cross the street and eat your veggies. Content warnings you say. Oh, sorry. Minor language but not enough to make your toes nails fall out.
STATUS: Complete – but under renovation at this very moment.
FEEDBACK: Please, please please!! Will do tricks for reviews.
DISCLAIMER: "Sniff-sniff" I don't own them, not even on tape. Skydancers are the property of… of… I can't remember but they're not mine. I don't make any money out of this and don't want to. I write for the fun not the profit.
All original characters and events are the property of the author and if she finds out that you stole them she'll kick you a…Ask before you want to use them.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is the second posting of the fic that started my Skydancer fanfic history on Originally, this story was a type of stand alone fic but, under the encouragement of my original readers – Jewelgurl, Firedaughter(Edani) and Silverstorm I created a larger world for the Skydancers to play in. This story now links up with the three that followed before it, Feather in the Wind, The Sixth I Give you and Time Walk Dance. (To be read in that order). I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
Chapter 1: The Vanishing.
Queen Skyla Zavere, daughter of Lord Baeleur Zavere and Lady Aurian Du'mond and widowed wife to King Skyler Skyhawk, monarch of the Skyrealms, slowly walked to the main court her arms calmly slipped into her sleeves. She smiled to those who greeted her and whispered thanks to those who had congratulated her.
Five years, she told herself. She had been queen for five years to the day.
She took a quiet breath, hoping to still the emotions in her heart.
It was a strange feeling, a mixed sense of accomplishment and loss, a terrible, terrible loss.
Five years ago, almost to the day – she lost her husband.
Five years ago she was running down these same halls having escaped the clutches of the palace guards who had tried to spirit her away to a safe haven. And running, running to a place where she could see her husband and stop him somehow or share his fate.
He had not told her what he had intended to do when he gave her the Skyswirlstone for safekeeping, but she had seen it in his eyes and the thought had first driven her numb – then, as her personal guards had tried to whisk her off to safety, the thought of it drove her mad, causing her to fight them and break away so that she could follow her husband to the death she had seen in his eyes.
The halls had been deserted then, thrown into chaos by the attack that had almost proved to cripple the wingdom.
Skyclone had somehow managed to convince the water people, the Azurians, to join his campaign and they had proved to be a fierce force to fight. What's more, he seemed to have found a way to command some unnatural power that caused him to summon the demonic creatures they now knew as Hurricanes.
Her husband, although he refused to bargain the wingdom had told her that he wanted to negotiate with his brother and, when she had reached the windows of the main court – it had almost appeared as if that was what they were doing.
Queen Skyla closed her eyes, unable to shake the image of the two brothers facing each other out of her mind. They were too far for her hear what they were saying but she could see from her husband's body language that things weren't going well. Her hands clenched in her sleeves as she remembered gripping the railing on one of the balconies, watching her husband flew back a little and drew his father's scepter – the scepter empty of the Skyswirlstone. He turned his shoulder as if to use the stone – keeping the scepter's edge away from Skyclone so that he couldn't see that it was empty.
Skyclone laughed and flew back as well forming between his hands a shield of a strange black and white light.
For a moment, both men hung as if frozen, then – Skyler spun quickly, aiming the scepter right as Skyclone. The older, heavier man braced himself for an attack that never came. Too late he realized that instead of attacking him his brother used the momentum of the throw to start spinning in the air. For a moment he looked puzzled, then bafflement turned to surprise and surprise quickly turned to fear as a searing light of spinning air enveloped his brother.
The death spin.
It was said that the magic came instinctively to those of the royal house in their hour of need, when they are willing to sacrifice everything they had for their kingdom, including their lives.
Few had ever had the need to use it, and of those few even less had managed to do it correctly. It didn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
Whether or not they succeeded in the doing the death spin correctly, the person who did it always died.
Skyla, watching her husband in his final act, had screamed out a single word that seemed to echo through out the destroyed wingdom.
Then, when all was done and Skyclone and his demonic forces had vanished and the Azurians had retreated before the wingdom's army, and the people started filing out in the streets to start picking up their broken lives and the skirmish was over, over – she found herself on her knees at the balcony, staring at the blue stone in her hand, knowing that he was gone.
Her world erupted and she screamed again, over and over until her voice was hoarse, hugging the remnant of his life to her chest.
She stayed there until someone placed a bony arm around her shoulder and picked her up with a surprising show of strength for someone she had considered to be rather feeble.
The Tinker did not leave her side for two full weeks.
They officially coroneted her three days after her husband disappeared – five years ago to the day.
She had never felt reason to celebrate it, the loss and memories of that time overshadowing her desire to think of her accomplishments over the past few years.
But, somehow this year, it felt better.
For the first time, the loss of this time of year felt bearable.
Queen Skyla smiled and allowed her attention to drift away from the darker corners of her soul and rather to the world around her.
The preparation for the evenings festivities were going well, Queen Skyla noted with a touch of pride as she looked around the hall.
Her Skydancers had done a wonderful job at organizing things and as she looked around she could see that everybody was doing some last minute ground work. She had decided to allow them to do the organizing of her anniversary festivities as an exercise to see how well they could cope with dealings inside the wingdom.
It proved to have rather fruitful results.
Camille was standing by the banquet table with a clipboard and a professional look on her face, double checking to see whether all the food she had ordered from the kitchens were there. The queen smiled to herself as she saw the girl look around and sneak a honey tart into her mouth.
Camille had a very active sweet tooth.
Angelica was doing her part by placing some finishing touches on the decorations. Her mother was an interior decorator and some of her talent had obviously rubbed off on her only child. Skyla had to admit the blond haired girl had a great eye for color. She liked the combination of gold's and greens that she had used. Although she had never come out and say it, green was her favorite color.
Queen Skyla moved to the other end of the room to where the orchestra was standing. Jade was in charge of the music and was currently having a quick chat with one of the musicians. When Queen Skyla walked by everybody stood to attention and made their separate bows and curtseys. Jade smiled and nodded at her.
"Everything's still going to plan Queen Skyla." She said warmly.
Queen Skyla smiled and nodded, touching Jade's shoulder in a kind gesture.
"There's never been a doubt in my mind that it will go otherwise Jade." She said with a smile. "Where are Slam, Breeze and Joanie? I have not seen them around."
Jade frowned slightly as she thought.
"Breeze and Slam are out checking the security." She said thoughtfully. "Or, at least they should be. And Joanie… Well, she's…" Jade's emerald green eyes scanned the great hall. Her eyes lid up as she spotted her friend. "She's over there by the fountain, checking out your presents."
Queen Skyla smiled slightly and nodded her thanks.
"Thank you." She said. "You're doing a wonderful job Jade, thank you very much."
Patting the young woman on the shoulder she went off to find her own.
Sure enough, Joanie was standing by the fountain, poking around the heap of packages. Her dark eyes were scanning them intently and every now and again she would stop and pick one up, run her hand over the top and put it back.
Queen Skyla smiled as she studied her adopted daughter. The girl was by far the shortest Skydancer ever to grace the skies of the wingdom. And for that matter, Queen Skyla thought with a touch of amusement, she was by far the shortest of temper as well. It didn't matter though. She was an excellent Skydancer; she had courage and heart.
No one could've wished for more.
Queen Skyla walked up behind her while she was fiddling with a packet wrapped in sky blue paper.
"Checking to see whether any of those are yours?"
The girl startled around and only the lightning reflexes she was known for stopped her from dropping the package.
"Dame Skyla," She breathed, sometimes she forgot herself and which title to use where, "Ah, no. Actually I'm just making sure everything's safe." She sniffed and placed the package she was holding down on the floor next to the others. "We're afraid someone might try to slip something into the packages or something. Because all are accepted. You doing okay?" The girl gave her a quick look from underneath her blue and silver striped fringe.
The queen smiled and on impulse ruffled the young girl's unruly hair. As the child squeaked and jumped away from her, she laughed and nodded.
"I'm fine. Is there anything lethal in the packages?"
Joanie gave her a nasty look and flattened her hair.
"Not that I've found so far." She said and glanced at the mount. "There's one though," she indicated towards the sky blue package, "that I don't completely trust. It's only addressed to you. There's no nametag on it or anything. I was just considering whether or not I should throw it out."
Queen Skyla frowned as she reached out to pick up the package. Joanie mouthed protest but she waved her away.
"You touched it and nothing happened." She said and weighed it in her hands. "It's rather heavy. I wonder what's in it."
Joanie sniffed and tried to reach for it before Skyla pulled it away.
"Let me open it." The small girl insisted. "Then, if it is something dangerous…" She let the sentence trail off but still held out her hand.
Queen Skyla promptly took it away from her.
"No." She said shortly.
Although she knew that it was the Skydancers' job to face danger on her behalf she couldn't face Joanie getting hurt.
Joanie gave her a long, hard look, sensing the woman's throughts. She was about to comment when they heard two thuds next to them. Slam and Breeze walked over, eyes shining.
"Everything is a-okay." Slam said as he gave Queen Skyla a mock salute. "We found no signs of hurricanes, hot air balloons or stinky, noisy brattish breaths." He was referring to Skyclone and his minions. "The worst thing I saw was a swallow who I suspect got into the punch Camille ordered." He shook his head, allowing the sun to catch his auburn colored hair. "It was a sad sad sight."
Breeze chuckled softly at his friend's remark before he turned to the queen.
"Whirl, Twirl and I have also started to check through all the guests arriving." He said and patted the two dogs by his heels. "There's no unwanted company here."
Queen Skyla nodded her approval.
"That's good you two." She said with a smile and patted Whirl and Twirl before they bounded off to beg some treats from Camille. "Thank you, I think perhaps we will have a good day today."
She glanced at the package.
Breeze was the first to notice it and raised a questioning eyebrow, after he noticed the way both Skyla and Joanie were looking at it.
Joanie sniffed and shrugged. "Dunno." She said. "I've got a bit of a bad feeling from that one. We've just been checking it out."
Slam whistled. "Whoa." He said and reached out to take it from Queen Skyla's hands. "A package with attitude. Can I open it?" With out waiting for a reply he began to tear off the paper.
Queen Skyla took a step back and folded her arms. "Go right ahead Slam." She said with a touch of sarcasm as she shared a look with Joanie and Breeze. The red headed boy was known for his foolhardy, go-in-and-get-it attitude.
Slam dismissed the comment as he exposed and large clear crystal.
"Nice," he said impressed, "very nice."
Joanie's curiosity got the better of her.
"Let me see." She said and snatched the crystal from his hands. She clicked her tongue as she ran her fingers over the edges. "Smooth…" She commented and weighed it in her arms. "This would make a lovely paper weight."
She grinned at the people around her before she continued her study of the object. She pressed her nose against it so that she could stare through the sides. She frowned slightly as her eyes narrowed intent.
"There's something written on the inside." She said. "I can't make it out."
Queen Skyla raised a curious eyebrow.
"Give it to me." She said and took the crystal from the child's hands. "It reads: 'Anje medo'en yi ryante ne unglo mati.'" A look of fear suddenly entered the Queen's eyes. "Skydancers get…" Her words were cut short as she was engulfed in a brilliant white light. Joanie screamed as Breeze threw her to the ground and covered her. Slam shouted something and jumped into the light. The sound of a thousand winds entered the room as the light exploded in a terrifying show of color…