Title: Frightened Deceit

Author: Icedragongurl

Show: Elf Quest

Disclaimer: I don't own Elf Quest, Wendy and Richard Pini do… I only own Ravenstar

Warnings: At this very moment I would say, fighting, violence… really that's it.

Couples: All of the canon ones, as well as Skywise/OC

Chapter: One

Author Notes: I rewrote this entire thing, simply because I could. So I did. Enjoy! Please let me know what you think!

After three days of rain, the forest was at long last quiet and still. A mist from day break still lingered, and the fresh dew clung to the leaves upon the trees. Skywise walked softly through the tall grass, his silver hair shining in the early morning sunlight. Ever since they'd managed to recreate the holt, he had taken it upon himself to do a patrol. Everything was peaceful, Skywise was determined to keep it that way. Everything that the Wolfriders had been through, they deserved this.

He sighed aloud, fingers playing with the lodestone around his neck. The creatures that inhabited the surrounding forest were only just awakening. A soft breeze made the grass stir around him. Nothing was going to happen, that much he was certain of. There weren't any humans to be seen for miles, and without having them to worry about… the holt was safe. Closing his eyes, Skywise stretched his arms above him, trying to work out any kinks he had. Falling asleep while stargazing was never a good idea, thankfully Cutter had come looking for him.

Not paying attention to what was in front of him, his foot caught on something. Down he went, falling flat on his face. Skywise pushed himself back up, spitting out the dirt that had gotten into his mouth. As he lifted himself into a crouching position, Skywise noticed what he'd tripped on. Lying in the middle of the border, was what appeared to be a young male elf. Hesitantly the Wolfrider took in the strangers features. He had short spiky red hair, and a kinda girly looking face. There were gashes and burns marring the elf's pale skin. Given the state of unconsciousness, it only made sense that the red head must have been ambushed!

Rolling the strange elf onto his back, Skywise took note of the bandages which were wrapped around his chest, a loose shirt tossed over it. His cheeks were a brilliant shade of red, and it was clear that a fever was burning through the boy. Uncertain how else to react, Skywise sent for Cutter and Leetah. As he waited for their arrival, he kept watch of the surrounding area. Uncertain how fresh the wounds were, it was best to make sure that who ever may have inflicted this damage wasn't in their territory. Suddenly, what had once been peaceful, was now tense and hostile.

Within no time at all, he was joined by his chief, and the sun tanned healed. Cutter stood rigidly, arms firmly crossed upon his chest. Leetah had already rushed the strangers aid. Quietly the Skywise told his friend of what had transpired. Silently the blonde elf listened, while watching his lifemate protectively. The tan hands were swift with her work, checking all of the wounds. After taking note of how warm the skin felt, she glanced at her lover with obvious hesitation. The response was a brief nod of approval. Immediately the two male elves hoisted the unconscious boy onto Cutters wolf. With that they headed back towards the Holt. Determined to reserve any judgment until the strangers true nature could be decided.

Grey eyes snapped open as terror took a firm hold of Ravenstar, she had no idea where she was. Survival instincts kicked on, surveying the surroundings for a means of escape. Her tension did not ease, when she realized that she was lying upon a variety of animal furs and pelts. Pleased to see that her bandages had not been touched, though her fear was not appeased. Muscles tightened as a strange face joined her, a elegant dark-skinned she-elf with copper hair. Ravenstar eyed her cautiously, as the elf smiled in response.

"My name is Leetah. You are safe here, no harm will come to you."

Ravenstar watched her silently as she propped her back up against the back wall. She was hesitant when it came to new faces, and not very trusting of new places. It came from personal experience, living on ones own tended to make an elf rather paranoid. When she at last spoke, her voice was rough from thirst. Running for days without any real water had a bad habit of doing that.

"Where am I?" The she-elf Leetah handed her a cup of water. At first Ravenstar just stared at it for a long moment, before hesitantly accepting it. Before she got an answer to her question, movement in the corner of her vision distracted her. In the entrance, a small blonde elf-child peeked its head to look in. When their gazes met, its eyes went wide and quickly it vanished. Suddenly shouts could be heard,

"HE'S UP! HE'S UP!" Ravenstar could feel her jaw drop in shock. Only one thought was running through her head 'He! I'm not a he! Do I look like a-…' her hand reached up to touch her hair… 'Okay…maybe I do…' She let out a deep sigh. All of the tension within her muscles eased away. Ravenstar took a drink of the water before speaking once more, her tone was more apologetic and tired.

"I'm…called Shadow-Hunter. Shade for short. Sorry if I caused you any trouble." Leetah shook her head,

"No trouble at all. Your presence was quite a surprise though." Another elf came to join them. This time a male, with white-blonde hair in a ponytail. He held himself with strength, making it rather obvious that he was the leader of this group. The male moved to stand beside Leetah, even as he did so he watched Ravenstar with suspicion. When he spoke, it supported the chief theory.

"What were you doing at our borders?" Ravenstar blinked a few times in confusion. Borders? What in the name of the High Ones was he talking about? The blonde gave her a contemplating look,

"You have no idea, do you?" She shook her head, honestly she didn't have any really recollection of what had happened before she'd passed out. There was running, she'd been trying to escape something that had been after her. Ravenstar scowled as she tried to remember what it had been. What had she been so frightened of? What…Her eyes went wide as the realization dawned. Humans! That's what it had been! Humans!

"Humans!" She'd shouted in a panic. The two elves seemed taken aback,

"That's what it was! I was trying to get away from a group of human hunters! They'd been taking slaves, they were beating us and cutting us! I was lucky to escape! Once I had gotten to that field… the humans just stopped. They'd given me this nasty look before leaving me alone! I can't remember anything else…" She fought back the urge to cry, a survivor didn't show tears. The chief's eyes went wide with horror and disgust. Ravenstar was surprised as Leetah took her quivering hand into her own in compassion, before turning to the other elf. Her expression was serious as she spoke calmly,

"Cutter, I believe him. From your stories, I'm not surprised that the humans would do such a terrible thing. We should help him." Cutter glanced from Leetah to Ravenstar, then back again. He then let out a sigh of defeat,

"Fine. He can stay, but if anything happens you'll be the one that has to take responsibility for his actions." The healer nodded firmly, and the chief smiled affectionately in response.

"I sometimes forget how stubborn you can be Lifemate." Leetah gave him a small smile back. Once Cutter had left, Ravenstar had opened her mouth to speak but was silenced.

"Don't worry. I will honor your desire to keep the truth secret, but I assure you… these elves will not judge you for being a female or male. They're all treated equally. Sometimes to a degree which even surprises me." The younger elf watched her silently, hands still held comfortingly. After a long moment of silence Ravenstar spoke,

"Not everyone has felt that way. I came from a place where women were only useful for two things. The men hunted and the females stayed home. My father wanted a boy, but he got me. So… I've gotten used to playing the part of a guy." Her words were hollow and the healer could sense that. Leetah couldn't help but feel sorrow for the poor girl. When she spoke, the sadness was still lingered,

"Doesn't mean you don't still want to have others realize what you really are." Grey eyes watched her with surprise, no one had ever been so honest before. It was true, not once had anyone truly realized. They just accepted what she said, and what they saw. An illusion to fool even the wisest of men. A survival method, embedded so deeply into her very being that it was utterly pathetic. Whenever her hair was too long, without thinking…she'd cut it. Bindings so tight, once it had been suffocating but now… it was easy. Unconsciously Ravenstar squeezed Leetah's hand,

"You should rest. Cutter and I will be back later to introduce you to the rest of the Wolfriders. So until then… sleep." Ravenstar nodded, before almost reluctantly letting go of her hand. She watched her leave, and after a few long lonely moments… she let her eyes shut. Always one to be a very light sleeper, all too soon the sound of approaching footsteps made her jolt back awake. A silver haired male was watching her, as if wondering exactly what she was.

Ravenstar couldn't help but be irritated by the way he seemed to be sizing her up. She quirked an eyebrow in annoyance, there was something about him that was getting on her nerves. Even so, the female part of her brain practically purred with appreciation. He was certainly visually attractive, not too mention his outfit left not a whole lot to imagination. She looked away before the blush could take hold. When he spoke, it was obvious that he was curious about her,

"I'm Skywise. What's yer name?" Ravenstar looked back at him again. She gave him a once over before speaking,

"Shadow-Hunter. You can call me Shade." He cocked his head to the side, and it reminded her of what a confused dog did. For the longest time he didn't say anything else, just watched her. Then, before she could react, his face was just inches from her own. Without being able to stifle it, a blush lit up her cheeks. When he spoke, it was with a confident little smirk,

"You're not really a guy. Am I right?" She blinked in shock what were the odds? Chuckling to herself then with an equally smug smile she answered with,

"That's for me to know and for you to find out." Skywise grinned down at her, and she just continued to smile right back. Never one to back down from a dare, it was one of her biggest weaknesses. Temptation would be the death of her one day. He smirked, blue eyes sparkling mischievously,

"Always did enjoy a good challenge." He said confidently, as he finally backed off. Ravenstar could finally breath freely again, she gave him a cheeky smile before responding with,

"Always did enjoy winning." Skywise's eyes widened briefly with shock. The stun faded quickly though. As he left the room, she could hear him chuckling in amusement. Ravenstar couldn't help but wonder if this really was such a good idea on her part.

TBC: I rewrote this entire thing. I hope you enjoyed it! Please let me know!