A Bug Love
50 one sentence themes on the adorable Aly and Nawat. Written for the livejournal community 1sentence.
Aly watched the crow named Nawat soar through the air with such ease and sighed; the slave collar clenched tightly around her neck didn't permit that sort of graceful freedom.
When Nawat pecked at the last of her bread crumbs, Aly couldn't understand why Kyproith didn't offer the crows something found in trees, which the Copper Isles had in abundance; something like apples.
Years later, when Nawat was questioned about the beginning of their relationship, he would muse that it began long before his 'birth' as a human.
During their time at Tanair, Nawat offered Aly exactly 62 different species of bugs; she politely refused them all.
Rather than become a lingering girl at his workbench, Aly took to watching the colour of coffee and milk mixed, the colour of his skin.
The night the assassins attacked the Tanair household, Nawat swore to protect Aly; he would not let the Hawk get its prey.
Aly remembered feeling an utmost despair and uncertainty as the Balitangs announced their return to Rajmaut – would Nawat be accompanying them?
Though they were hiding their relationship from others, both Nawat and Aly were keen to see what Rajmaut held as they opened these new doors.
Aly soon learnt that loosening the tongue wasn't the only use of wine; it was also helpful when missing a certain former crow.
Though it pained him, Nawat had to leave – not only would he now serve a purpose, it was also the only way to show Aly that he too had duties and responsibilities, just as any man does.
On reflection, Aly decided that Sarai was most definitely wrong; Nawat did not taste like bugs or earth at all.
Nawat saw so much pain and suffering while away – it only made him want to hold Aly all the more closer.
Everyday she watched for his return, and everyday her heart fell.
The raging fires signified the end of the rebellion; all crows of the Copper Isles were glad to have won the wager, though one former crow in particular was especially glad to see Aly with breath in her body.
"I will return to Tortall with you if you no longer wish to be Aly of the Crooked Eye," Nawat said and watched as his wife to be brushed away tears of happiness.
As Aly watched Nawat in crow form, flying above her towards the Tortallan delegation, Aly wondered what her family, adoptive and blood, would really think of her crow man.
Pregnant or not, Nawat was not happy with the amount of food Aly was able to hold down – he told her so at regular intervals.
Aly finally decided to take a break from her duties when due to constant fatigue and morning sickness she could no longer make out foot or tail of the reports.
The day after Aly and Nawat's wedding Kyproith told The Graveyard Hag rather smugly that, "You thought she wouldn't marry the crow. That's ten Seratudu that you owe me."
Green was the colour of Daine's mother, Sarra; perhaps she will come when I give birth, so long as I don't lay eggs, Aly thought.
"Nawat," Aly asked wearily at her first glance at her newborn children, "why do I see three heads in your arms.
In the weeks following Aly consumed so much food that Nawat took to hiding the food, a challenge for his wife if nothing else – at least her stomach was not half empty anymore.
Raka custom dictates that one does not name a child after those who have gone before them, so Aly and Nawat honor three important people in their own way by naming their three nestlings Ochubai, Ulasu and Junim.
Aly prayed her children wouldn't sprout wings, she really did.
"There still needs to be time for fun and sparklies," Nawat told Aly as he guided Aly away from the nestlings.
When the nestlings were of an appropriate age, Nawat took them out of the nest into the real world where they met Grandma and Grandpa; Aly felt an unmistakable ache in her heart when they left.
Aly awoke from her dream with a start; the metal collar that had been choking her only moments ago now disappeared, just as Nawat had to Tortall.
Aly collected a new bug every day that Nawat was gone and presented them to him, much to Nawat's amusement, upon his return.
As the boat pulled in to the Rajmaut harbor, Nawat could see Aly standing at the docks, her figure outlined by the rising sun, she was still the same Aly he loved.
"Peace or no," Nawat told Aly, "you can't sit at that desk all day. You need time for fun."
When a crow was found poisoned on their doorstep, Aly comforted her husband; she knew how it felt to loose one of her flock.
Three years into their marriage, Nawat still offered Aly pretty things, although the old rocks of granite were now replaced by precious stones of emerald and gold.
The rain washed away Junim's tears as Nawat and Aly nursed him back to full health.
Some laurin thought Aly regretted not moving back to Tortall, but one smile from Nawat flickered the rumors; Aly was happy right where she was.
On even further reflection, Aly decided that Sarai was still wrong – Nawat tasted of roses, not bugs.
"Please run along, little Darking," Nawat told secret, who had taken a very unhealthy interest in human romance at the recommendation of Trick.
"He is a sly snake trying to rob us of our nestlings," Nawat said bluntly – Aly didn't know how to explain that it was only an etiquette class.
Nawat looked handsome in the snow, it brought of the colour of his skin and Aly told him so.
As parents, Aly and Nawat sighed with relief when all three of their children were eating solids, much like now when all three had settled on an occupation.
Sarai often visited in the spring; on her fourteenth such visit Mequen took a liking to Ochubai – Nawat advised him to give her sparklies, Aly could only giggle.
The first time Aly found Nawat muttering insanely in the stables, he told her that, "There is no reasoning with the kudurang, or conversing either, apparently."
"I did not know you liked so many sparklies," Nawat remarked when he found his wife wearing an amount of rings and jewelry that would make even Boulaj proud.
It was that summer that the last of the nestlings left home; Aly and Nawat didn't know whether to feel relieved or saddened.
Nawat's transformation to a man was somewhat of a taboo among the laurin; twenty years on, Aly still liked to shock the Easterners by talking of it – most subtly of course.
When Dove mentioned ennobling their family for service for the crown, Aly and Nawat didn't put up the ugly fight she thought they would, in fact Aly looked proud and Nawat prouder still.
The Copper Isles had been blessed with relative peace for so long that when Nawat left with a clan of troops Aly clung onto him so tightly that her ribcage began to ache and watched him until The Sight burned her eyes.
Dipping his toes into the Emerald Ocean, Nawat couldn't help but sigh over the large body of water that separated him from his Aly.
48. Welcome Home
Aly ran with such velocity into Nawat's strong arms upon his arrival home that she had no voice left to whisper, "I love you."
After nearly a year apart, Aly doesn't mind spending the entire winter snuggled up and locked in with Nawat.
With spices and wood scenting the room, Nawat's bird shrug, smile and complete declaration of love still makes Aly feel like the seventeen young fool in love that she was and still is.
So, what did you think?