Disclaimer: don't own

Ok, here's the idea. It is any number of years after the whole fight with Nadil, Lord Lykouleon, Alfeegi, Thesus and Cesia as well as all the Demons (well, the bad ones anyway) are dead, and peace has settled over the land. But Rune is missing, disappeared without a race, leaving his two heartbroken lovers Rath, now the Dragon Lord, and Thatz, now the chief of security at the castle. But all is not lost-or so it seems, for if Tinlet managed to survive and was trapped in the body of a little girl, is it not possible for Rune to have done the same. Just so you know, this is not a particularly happy story; it's a bittersweet tale of love, death and dealing with grief.

Chapter 1

It had been five years from Rune had gone, vanished, into the blue. He and the Water dragon had just disappeared. Leaving an already grieving castle to grieve again. It had been five years ago, but for Thatz it could have been only yesterday. Half his heart had been ripped out, he was no longer complete. Yes, he still loved Rath, one half of his heart had always belonged to Rath, but the other needed Rune. But Rune was gone.

He could remember that morning so clearly, waking up to find himself twined round Rath, it was rare that, because Rube always slept between them. That had been the first hint. The second had been the fact that Rune's sword was gone. The third however, was the fact that Rune had left two little pressed flowers on the bed stand. Forget me nots. It was seeing those that had made Thatz squirm away from Rath, waking the newly instated king in an instant.

"Where's Rune?" had been Rath's first question, but he had fallen silent when Thatz help up the flowers. They both somehow knew that Rune was gone, and that he wasn't coming back. But they had still hoped. Sent out whoever they could spare to search. But every report came back with no word. Rune had simply vanished. Leaving his lovers to suffer.

They had survived. Somehow. Though sometimes Thatz wondered if they would ever have gotten to the point where they could survive each other had it not been for Rune, the elf had always settled their disputes quickly, and they had always teamed up against Rune's Alfeegi like personality when it shone through. The three of them had been perfect for each other. So for Rune to just have disappeared like he had. It made no sense. No sense at all.

"Thatz, come inside, we have to get to that meeting." Rath called from inside their bedroom. "Who is it that's coming in today again?" he asked.

Thatz turned back and returned to the room, sighing lightly. Rath had become a lot like Lord Lykouleon had been, he was kinder, patronising and was always forgetting why he had to do the things a king is supposed to do and always trying to sneak off to fight Demons, and he would get away with it if Thatz hadn't learned to see through his disguises.

"The envoy to Fariee realm." Thatz said, satisfied that he didn't grimace when he said it, for nearly three years whenever anyone mentioned elves or Fariee's Thatz had grimaced. If anyone mentioned Rune, save for his lover, they got a very bitter tongue lashing. Because of that everyone in the castle, and indeed the city, had learned never to mention Rune's name. Rath himself had stopped saying it as well, seeing and understanding Thatz's pain when he heard their beloveds' name.

So life had slowly moved on from the time of darkness. Those who were gone were mourned but not forgotten, the land had started rebuilding. Treaty's, set in motion before Lykouleons death, were completed, and the land now had a kind of peace. The castle was quieter though, without those who had given it life-Alfeegi's rants were missed, the commotion cause by Kaisterns return from a mission left the castle saddened. Lord Lykouleon always trying to slip out past Alfeegi, which had always been good for a laugh, had left the castle silent. Life had moved on, but there was not the shine, or the happiness that had once been. Perhaps there never would be.

"Thatz." Rath said, resting a hand on his lovers shoulder, staring into his hurting eyes. He knew what Thatz was thinking of. It had taken everything he had to keep the ex-thief with him after Rune had disappeared. Rath too felt as if half his being had been ripped away when Rune had gone, but he had had a country to rule, so to save himself the grief he had pushed everything away except his work, and Thatz. He had drawn Thatz into everything he could think of-keeping him busy. But there were times Thatz would slip in this melancholy mood.

It was an interesting turn around if he admitted it to himself, that Thatz should become so withdrawn, but Thatz had always had that kind of complex, the idea that everyone he loved would leave him eventually. It had taken months of arguments to convince him that Rath would not leave him. Thatz had never given up on Rune; Rath knew that, he himself had stopped the searches, knowing that Rune would not be found. Sometimes it was ok; sometimes they could get through the weeks, even a month without one of these episodes. They were becoming less frequent since the searches stopped; because now Thatz didn't get his hopes up that every report might bring news.

It wasn't that he didn't also feel that rise of hope; in fact, stopping the searches was probably just as must for himself as it had been for Thatz. It was just too painful in the long run. It was better to just let it go, and live on.

Rath drew Thatz into a warm embrace, cradling his head on his shoulder. No words were needed; they knew each other too well for words to be nothing but meaningless noise. Finally Rath pulled away and smiled softly at his lover. "Come on, let's go meet the envoy."

Thatz nodded slightly, interlacing his fingers with Rath's and allowing himself to be led from the room and down to the audience chamber.


The envoys report was as dull and benign as was expected-the Fairee realm offered its greetings and blessings etc, etc, could they please send some kind of aid, etc, etc. Thatz found all these occasions rather boring, so he searched his pockets for the bag of cookies he had taken from breakfast. He was largely ignored, but from the corner of his eye he could see Rath's lips quirk into a smile, and his fingers drummed the arm rest of his chair lightly, the request obvious. Thatz finally found the cookie bag and opened it, again he was ignored, but Rath's hand moved to fall down the arm rest, awaiting his share.

Without bothering to hide what he was doing Thatz gave him one of the cookies. The court was used to such behaviour and didn't bat an eyelid when Rath and Thatz started munching on the cookies. Thatz rarely got through any council session without eating, and Rath was hardly known for sticking to the rules.

What was not common for a meeting was the sudden interruption when a Dragon fighter suddenly burst into the hall, eyes wide, looking like he had seen a ghost, or a Demon. Rath was on his feet instantly, his eyes narrowed and his robes settling into their heavy folds around him. "What is it? Has a Demon breached the defences?"

The Dragon Fighter shook his head, "No my Lord, this is something…" he trailed off as a group of Dragon fighters entered behind him, and stood back, away from the thing they had brought in with them. Away from the small boy, who only looked about three, with short curling blond hair and biggest blue eyes anyone had ever seen. But what no one else noticed, save Rath and Thatz, and the Dragon Knights who had taken the child in with them, and the small creature clutched passively in the child's arms.

"Water?" Thatz breathed.

This couldn't be happening.

First chappie done folks. Btw, the only ones still alive in the Dragon castle from the manga, or those I have read anyway, are Rath, Thatz and Ruwalk. Everyone else who you can remember is probably dead. Review to find out if Rune is really dead-or is he just doing a Tinlet?